Breeding dogs has been a beloved tradition among humans for centuries. Our affection for these faithful companions stems from their loyalty, sharp senses, and protective nature. While breeding can be a rewarding experience, it must be approached with care and caution. Only trained, experienced, and responsible breeders should undertake this task. Failing to meet the proper criteria can harm the health of the breeding animals and their offspring. Ethical breeding practices should be followed to ensure the well-being of all involved. This article will discuss some of these practices and how they can benefit the health of breeding parents and their puppies.
Verify Your Dog’s Eligibility For Breeding
Before you breed your dog, you should get complete information about its suitability for breeding. You should check your dog’s temperament, physical fitness, mental stability, and other essential characteristics for breeding. You have to follow several guidelines and then see if your dog meets all these standards for breeding. You can visit your relevant pet club to see their guidelines.
Ensure Your Dog’s Health and Wellness before Breeding
Before mating, it is essential for both the male and female dogs to be healthy, as this will increase the chances of having healthy puppies. Feed your pets well and regularly take them to the vet to keep them in good shape. Your vet can recommend the best dog food and supplements based on age, breed, and health conditions. You can find high-quality products at pet stores or department stores. If you prefer to shop online, you can order from websites like PetStore or Walmart for small quantities or from SeeBiz for bulk orders.
Another critical factor for successful breeding is testing your dogs for infectious diseases or genetic disorders that could affect their offspring. Your vet can do a comprehensive check-up and run the necessary tests to identify potential issues. Your vet can also tell you the best time to breed your female dog based on her heat cycle and ovulation. You should avoid mating her during the peak days of heat, as this could stress her out and cause problems during pregnancy. Moreover, you should ensure your female dog is not overweight when she breeds, as obesity can lower her fertility and make delivery harder. You should help her stay fit by giving her a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Choose a Compatible and Suitable Partner for Your Dog
A successful and safe mating is only possible if the dogs are compatible. The male and female dogs should develop a good understanding of mating. If both partners agree to mate, it will lead to positive results. Also, make sure that the dogs’ genetics can complement each other and bring out the best qualities of each partner. This will help to produce strong and promising offspring.
Consider Artificial Insemination as an Option for Breeding
Artificial insemination is a good option for breeding female dogs. This process involves collecting fresh semen from a healthy male dog and inserting it into the female dog’s womb. However, ensure that both the male dog’s semen and the female dog’s health are medically checked and approved by the vet before this procedure. If successful, any litter information should be accompanied by a veterinary certificate stating that the litter was conceived through artificial insemination.
Confirm Your Dog’s Pregnancy and Provide a Nutritious Diet
After the female dog has been bred either naturally or artificially, she needs careful attention to her health for a smooth delivery. The female dog may act as if she is pregnant even if she is not, so you should take her to the vet for a thorough examination. The vet can use ultrasounds and x-rays to confirm the female dog’s pregnancy. If the female dog is pregnant, you should give her a nutritious diet your vet recommends. You should also increase her food intake as her body weight grows. This usually happens about five to six weeks before delivery.
Prepare a Whelping Box and Monitor Your Dog’s Delivery
Ensure that your female dog has a safe and proper environment when whelping. Arrange a whelping box where your female dog can safely give birth to the puppies and where the puppies can grow up until they become independent. After getting approval from the vet, get a whelping box that is big enough for the female dog to fit in easily and for you to easily step into it to feed her. Fill it with whelping supplies such as newspapers and paper towels for cleaning.
Once the female dog is ready to whelp, her body temperature drops below 99 degrees, the normal temperature of about 100 degrees. Provide support if required, but female dogs usually can give birth to puppies themselves without needing external assistance. Contact your vet immediately if any medical issues arise and the female dog cannot give birth to a litter.
Take Care of Your Dog and Her Puppies After Whelping
Female dogs require intense care after whelping because it is a strenuous process that takes up much of their energy. They do not eat much during the first two days after whelping, but as time passes, they require a lot of food that is rich in vitamin D and calcium to recover from weakness and regain their health. This allows them to feed their newborn puppies with their milk. Along with feeding the puppies with canine milk, following some essential steps to care for them properly is important.
Maintain a Comfortable Temperature for the Newborns
- Keep the newborns in a place that is neither too warm nor too cold, as puppies can get ill if they catch a cold that may be fatal. Having a sweltering environment can also lead to overheating.
- Reduce the environmental temperature to 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the first week, and reduce it to 80 degrees during the second week. Once the puppies reach four weeks of age, reduce the temperature to 70 degrees.
Feed Them a Proper Diet as They Grow Up
- Feed them a proper diet as they grow up, and their dependency on their mother’s milk ends.
- Consult with your veterinarian and feed them with puppy food that meets their nutritional needs.
Clean Them Frequently and Stimulate Them Gently
- Clean and wash them frequently by rubbing their body gently because their skin is delicate.
- Stimulate the young puppies by massaging their genital area with a cotton ball or paper towel in warm water. This will make them feel like their mother is licking them, which can help them to defecate easily.
The Rewards of Responsible Dog Breeding
Dog breeding requires careful planning and execution to ensure the well-being of both the parents and the offspring. It is up to the breeder to follow good breeding practices to ensure the health and safety of any litter. And the care does not stop there! Puppies will need continued monitoring, positive stimulation, and interactions, medicines to be a good ambassadors for their breed as they grow.