There’s no doubt that owning a dog is hugely satisfying. Of course, there is a huge amount of responsibility – exercising him, food bills, visits to the vet and poop scooping are just some of the aspects involved. It’s a labour of love but, in return for looking after him, your dog will lavish all the love and attention on you that you could ever want. In fact, some owners love their dogs so much that they are tempted to breed them. The idea of having mini versions of your beloved pooch around the house is certainly attractive, but many people jump into it without giving full consideration to the issues involved. Here are some important questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge:
What are your motives for breeding your dog?
If you find yourself wanting to breed your pet because you think that puppies are very cute, or that you could make some cash from it, you really need to reconsider. Puppies may indeed be cute, but they do not remain pups for long. What would be an adorable litter will soon turn out to be mischievous house wreckers that will eat you out of house and home. As for making money, be aware that dog breeding can be expensive. The expenses that you can expect to foot include food, advertising for a stud dog or bitch, vet’s fees and equipment. This is just if everything runs smoothly – if there are any hiccups, they are sure to hit your pocket too.
Have you enough time to invest?
If your dog is to be a mother, a lot of time is needed to look after her as she approaches labour. You will need to be with her for the whelping, and this may necessitate a sleepless night or a day off work. Your dog will also need lots of care and attention, regular meals and frequent short walks. Your time will also be taken up caring for the new-born pups and taking them to the vet for their jabs.
Is your house big enough?
Unsurprisingly, whelping is a very messy endeavour. A whelping box is a must, and depending on the breed of your dog, will need to be large enough to be comfortable for a dozen pups. Your washing machine will also be working overtime as their bedding will need to be changed a few times a day. It’s also best if you have a large, uncarpeted floor that can be cleaned easily, and a garden or yard that is secure to let them play outside.
Do you know much about dog breeding?
Forewarned is forearmed. Dog breeding is something to enter with both eyes open; make sure that you learn everything you need to, such as what to do as soon as the pups are born, action to take should there be a complication during whelping and how to spot health problems before they develop into something nasty. Any gaps in your knowledge will endanger your pet, as well as her pups.
Do you know your legal obligations?
If you’ve gotten this far and haven’t been put off, you should be aware that you are required to get a licence to breed dogs from the authorities if you plan to make it into a business. This will usually involve a visit to your home to check that it is suitable for the purpose. Rules can vary, but it generally applies if you plan to breed several litters per year.
The author has owned dogs all her life and has over 15 years experience of dog breeding and stud dogs, having cared for more than 30 dogs. Vivien is one of the main authors on Dream Dogs, a site dedicated to news and articles for dog lovers with an emphasis on stud dogs, breeding and raising healthy puppies. puppies.