Articles written by Wendy Wallner, DVM





Ask yourself the following questions first:

Have I had my bitch checked for hip dysplasia? Sub-aortic Stenosis? Cardiomyopathy? Hypothyroidism? Other traceable inherited conditions? Has the stud been checked, too?

Can I accept the loss of my bitch to have this litter? (Complications do happen and bitches do die during and after whelping.)

Will I find the best male possible to complement my bitch, even if it means flying to another state and spending a few thousand dollars to do the breeding?

Have I educated myself about whelping and raising puppies so that I will recognize a problem before it is too late?

Can I take off work for several days around the bitch's whelping date so she won't be unattended during her delivery?

Do I have enough money saved in the event that a C-section is required?

Do I have the ability to take a few weeks off work to raise the litter should anything happen to the dam? Can I afford up to $100 a week for milk replacer if the dam has no milk?

Can I afford to feed a litter of weaned growing puppies until they are sold? (This can cost as much as $50 a week if the litter is large)

Can I afford to vaccinate the puppies if they are not sold by the time vaccinations are due?

Do I expect to profit from the sale of these puppies? (Most litters cost breeders money. If you are lucky you may break even after all the pups are sold.)

How selective will I be in finding homes for the puppies? What criteria will new owners have to meet? (Do they have fenced yards, will they be able to afford routine medical care, will they be able to afford veterinary bills if an emergency arises, will they continue to feed the pup a quality diet, etc.?)

Will I take back any unwanted puppies or dogs that I have produced when their owners no longer want them?

Please do not breed your dog if you can't answer YES to all of the above questions!!


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