05 Jul Safer Breeding
With a massive rise in the popularity of hobby breeders it is very important you receive the correct support. Thankfully we are here to help with this. I am going to try and cover some key facts that sometimes get overlooked. You may here me repeat this but it is very important to get the right advise, above all else. There are many ups and downs with breeding. Ensuring you have the correct knowledge will determine weather you have more ups than downs.
Firstly you do need to have money put aside for vet fees and unexpected complications. Many breeds now require C Sections and this can be fairly costly. Prices ranging from £500 to £1500 depending on vets. Check what your getting for your money and ask for a breakdown. I say this because some offer much better after care which can outweigh extra costs. This is not always the case. If out of service hours are required, which is sometimes the case, this can cause the higher end prices. Research which vets to use and possibly make a pre-booking. Bull breeds and other flat faced breeds are likely to need this and I would book in advance.
Research the stud you will be using and check both lines are compatible. Make sure all necessary health checks have been done, this should also be the case for both. Semen analysis should be done prior to breeding as you want to make sure he score well. If the male struggles, you have an excitable bitch or you just want to avoid accidents. Then you can always look to Artificial Insemination. This is becoming very popular as it is not as invasive.
Knowing when the time is right is important as it can be time restrictive. When you do not own both the dame and the shire this is very important. No one wants to stand for hours in the rain just watching them ignore each other. For a long time now people have been doing Progesterone testing to check the bitches fertility. However with the growth in popularity in Cytology this is definitely the procedure I would be inclined to go for. This is becoming very popular as it is not as invasive as taking bloods.
Having all the correct equipment there early will also help. It is all very easy to acquire as most pet stores will have everything you need. There are also plenty of online retailers who can supply these items. You can never be too organised. The better prepared you are the less stressful the process for both you and new mum.
The whelping area is very important. A good clean and sterile area is a must and will also help you in the long run. Getting something made for this will far out way the costs of loosing pups or kittens by not having the right area. Pig rails are very good in ensuring they don’t get crushed. This is a must for big breeds. John Careys Whelping Boxes And Pet Crates is a great place to have custom made crates/whelping boxes custom made to fit your space. This can also come with removeable pig rails on request. check him out on Facebook.
Be very careful where you take advise and who you are taking advise from. Please make sure you use people who have genuine experience in whelping puppies or kittens. There is, like with all things, a lot of “Bro Talk”. It is best to seek advise from a vet or a reputable fertility clinic. there are also many experts online with extensive experience.
The good health of mum is paramount. She needs to be on a good diet of only premium foods containing all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Both raw food and branded food are suitable. This should be the case at all times but is particularly important prior to impregnating her. If your bitch is not in prime health there is a much higher chance of reabsorption also lead to other more serious complications.
I would recommend two ultrasound scans one at day 28 to confirm pregnancy and then another at day 47. You can see a lot more at day 47 and its great to see the foetus develop into puppies/kittens. It is also great to see that they have not re-absorbed. A good experienced animal scanner will be able to spot various health issues like the dreaded pyometra.
Selling your litters can bring fresh challenges so having nice pictures available of both the dame and the shire. Make sure both parents can be viewed by any prospective new owners. Make sure all the relevant documentation can be seen for both puppy/kitten and parents. I would recommend advertising early but definitely do not advertise the size of the litter. Unfortunately as we all know dog theft is also on the rise. I will do a post next month highlighting the epidemic and trying to safe guard yourself against would be dognapers.
There is so much more to breeding than what I have covered today. I just wanted to give you a quick insight into some of the things we spot people sometimes miss. We also have to help people that have been badly misinformed. I hope following this quick guide will help you avoid some of these pitfalls. Organisation is key.