What to Consider Before Breeding Your Dog

Been thinking about making your dog a mum? This isn’t a decision to take lightly. Here are some considerations before you breed your dog...

Baby animals are undeniably cute. And when you get a bunch of baby animals altogether, that’s super cute! You may have got your dog as a puppy and you’re now keen to replicate the experience and have a bunch of your dog’s "mini me's" romping about your house.

But, before you jump in, you should carefully consider whether breeding from your dog is the right choice. There are some key factors that contribute to creating the perfect scenario where breeding from your dog is the right choice.

1. The health of your dog

One of the first things you should consider is the health of your dog. This is for two reasons. Firstly, you want to make sure they’ll be able to get through the pregnancy unscathed. Secondly, you want to make sure your dog doesn’t have any congenital or underlaying conditions that it may pass on to its offspring and which could cause issues down the track.

Some breeds tend to have a propensity for certain disorders or diseases, like hip dysplasia or progressive retinal atrophy which could impact the quality of life of the puppies.

2. Do you have the time?

While your pooch may do the heavy lifting, looking after a pregnant dog – and its litter of puppies – can take a considerable amount of time and energy, especially if things don’t go as smoothly as you might hope. If your dog has a large litter, for instance, you may need to help with feeding, as there won’t be enough nipples to go around!

3. Can you cover the cost?

There are a lot of costs involved in breeding dogs. You’ll have to pay for the sire (if you’re looking to get your bitch pregnant) as well as special food, veterinary costs and all the associated costs of feeding and looking after a new litter of puppies before they’re old enough to be sold.

And, if there are any complications during the pregnancy, birth or afterwards, this will ramp up the costs even more. Sometimes, depending on the breed of the dog, you may not be able to recover these from the sale of the pups.

4. Will you be able to sell the puppies?

Unless you’re planning on keeping all the pups, being able to find loving homes for them should be part of your consideration process. If your dog is a speciality breed, is there a demand for more of its kind? Or are there already dozens of other breeders flooding the market with this breed?

5. Is there a suitable mate?

Even if all the above boxes have been ticked, you’ll still need to secure the right mate to father the pups. Depending on the breed and any restrictions there may be around breeding it, this may mean going overseas to help maintain genetic diversity in the breed.

Breeding your dog isn’t a decision to be made lightly. If it is something you are seriously considering we suggest talking to your vet. They’ll be able to give more specific advice and run tests or screens to determine if your dog is suitable to breed.