Having a pet is a wonderful and rewarding experience. We choose our pets for a variety of reasons and we worked to make them life long companions and friends. Occasionally a pet owner will decide to breed their precious dog, but there are many things to consider before taking the plunge.
Pets are expensive, and puppies are even more so. First the responsible pet owner will take the pregnant dame to the vet many times. X-rays will be performed to determine how many puppies are in the litter. This is imperative to avoid an emergency situation with a retained puppy. Once the puppies are whelped there will be another trip to the vet to verify that all the placentas were delivered and there is nothing remaining in the mom.
X-rays may need to be repeated just to make sure there is nothing wrong with the dame or the newborn pups. If there are any problems during the delivery or whelping of the pups, that will be another added expense for the emergency vet. And this bill will be very expensive and daunting when problems arise at two o’clock in the morning. If the dame is nursing well and attentive to the pups, there will not be a need to supplement puppy formula. It is a good idea to have on hand, though in case any problems do arise. Two weeks later the puppies will return to be dewormed and checked again for adequate weight gain. Then, the puppies will need to go back to the vet one final time for another dewormer and their first sets of shots. The vet bills alone will be costly.
Combined with the vet bills are some additional expenses. The puppies will need a safe area to be delivered and to be confined during the day. A baby pool works well and is easy to clean, but there are also a variety of other items that can be used. Whatever is being used needs to be safe and free from entrapment hazards. There should be adequate bedding to keep the puppies warm and the mother comfortable. It will need to be changed frequently and washed constantly as the puppies will go to the bathroom here. It is also a good idea to purchase an outdoor carpet to put under the bedding to protect the floors in the home. The delivery is a very messy event and can damage carpets and other surfaces. It is a good idea to keep a fresh supply of towels on hand for any messes that do arise.
Once the puppies are born, the mother’s food intake will greatly increase to keep up with the growing demand of nursing. It is a good idea to free feed the mother, that is to allow her to eat as much as she wants, while she is nursing. This will promote an abundant milk supply and will prevent a drop in calcium levels, which is dangerous for the dame. A high performance puppy food should be used to promote good health in both the dame and the pups. Once the puppies get older, they will also need to be supplemented with puppy food. A high performance puppy chow can be used soaked in some warm water to facility chewing. Expect to buy several bags of dog food, as the supply will be depleted quickly. A large shallow pan or bowl will need to be purchased to feed the puppies to ensure each one gets a chance to eat. If there is a large litter two or three pans may be needed.
Once the puppies have opened their eyes and are beginning to chew, toys will be needed to begin socializing the puppies. This is also a good idea to avoid damage to carpets and other items in the home. Generally soft toys are best in the beginning as they will not be able to get their mouths around large hard toys. They will also need access to water regularly to avoid dehydration. The puppies will need to be socialized properly to facilitate a good disposition. They will require a lot of time and attention and gentle handling. The pet owner will need to check the puppies each day for weight gain, pests, and other problems. The puppies should be exposed to a variety of situations and people. This will help them in their lives with their new owners.
When the puppies are about ready to leave their mother, the responsible owner will find good homes for their pups. They will advertise by word of mouth or in the newspaper. They will interview each perspective owner to ensure the pups will be taken care of properly. Finding new homes for the puppies can be very difficult. With the current recession there are many pets that end up in shelters as owners can no longer afford the expense. Families are in a financial crisis and are not willing to take on an additional responsibility. Be prepared to keep the puppies for several months if need be. And with the economy the way it is, don’t expect high prices for your little ones. Many people are just not able or willing to pay such high prices right now.
Breeding dogs is an expensive endeavor and can lead the responsible pet owner with more bills than income. Newborn puppies require a lot of time and care, just like infants. In today’s economy, it can be difficult to find new homes for all the puppies. It can be a rewarding experience, but before breeding, take into consideration all the expenses and time required to have a successful litter. And keep in mind there are many animals in shelters and rescues across the United States that would love a new home. Would you want your precious pooches to end up in one?
While you’re here, be sure to check out our dog product reviews!