To Spay or to Breed - That Is the Question|
Who doesn't love a puppy? Or a whole litter of puppies? I know we do! They are cute and cuddly, great for the kids to play with, so why not let your pet have a couple of litters?
"Why not? I have a good looking dog, everyone says they would love to have one of their pups, it's a registered dog, I paid good money for the dog and I can make some of that money back. My neighbor has the same breed and it is registered we could breed them. So why not?"
Those are very good questions that we will try to answer.
Everyone knows that there are hundreds of dogs and puppies KILLED every day of the week. Not all of these are mutts or mixed breed dogs- many are purebreds. Even mixed pups can come from 2 different unaltered purebred parents. Purebred rescues have to turn away dogs because they don't have enough room or enough foster homes. Are you willing to take the pups you brought into the world back should the people you sell them to be unable to care for the dog- even after 10 years? Check out Petfinder.com for a list of rescue groups desperately trying to find homes for animals. Also check out the Humane Society overpopulation figures.
Ok, so you are willing to take back the pups - great. Here is the next thing to consider. In breeding animals we try to improve the breed- generation after generation, and try to eliminate problems. For example, most people know that big dogs are prone to hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia has caused many a heartache for owners watching their pets be in so much pain. It is a costly disease physically for the dog, and financially for the owner. But hip dysplasia is only one of many diseases that is hereditary. We can screen your pet for early hip dysplasia through radiographs as early as 6 months and the hips can be certified through OFA at 2 years of age. Breeding dogs also need to be screened for Brucellosis (a sexually transmitted disease that can make your pet sterile). Do you know what diseases you should be trying to eliminate when you breed? Check out this website for a list of breeds and the diseases associated with them. The American Kennel Club promotes responsible breeding, check out their page for their recommendations.
There are many breeds that were very popular for whatever reason- good family dogs, they were seen on a movie, etc. Unfortunately, these dogs were overbred to make money, to let kids see the miracle of birth, or whatever other reason you can think of. Now we have many dogs with allergies, hypothyroidism, hip probems, knee problems, and heart problems, just to name a few. It is heartbreaking when a vet has to inform the new puppy owner that the joy of their life has a heart murmur or some other hereditary problem that might have been avoided by screening the parents.
"So now I have done the genetic screening for my dog- I should just breed away." Well not exactly. Are you able to handle the financial responsibility should complications arise- such as a the need for a c-section? By the way, these usually don't come at a convenient time and usually require after hours emergency services which are generally much more expensive. How about a litter of pups with diarrhea, vomiting, physical exams and first round of vaccinations and dewormings from a veterinarian that will check all the puppies over before they are sold?
These are all important things to consider when breeding. We support responsible breeding and breeders. Unfortunately, we have seen too many irresponsible breedings and the heartaches it causes.
If you cherish your pet and want them to be with you as long as possible, to live the healthiest life they can lead- spay or neuter them. Check out these spaying and neutering facts and myths.
To have puppies so kids can see the miracle of birth without taking any of the above precautions is short sighted and, to be totally honest, very selfish. It is not taking into consideration the female that could potentially die during birth, or the passing on of health issues to unsuspecting new owners, and creating genetic problems for generations to come.
Please consider visiting your local animal shelter, or animal control facility to see how many unwanted pets there are in your town. These pups/dogs were all brought into this world with the intention of finding them a good home. For every pup born there are 3 that are killed, one of them could be yours.