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Dog Breeding

Before breeding a dog, careful considerations should be made. It must be done responsibly and never solely for profit's sake. It might be rewarding to have a puppy directly from your family's longtime dog, but there are hundreds of thousands of dogs waiting in shelters that need loving homes, too. Plus, complication during pregnancy, specail care requirements during the mother's gestation period, and caring for an entire litter of newborn puppies will not make breeding easy. Most vets recommend that breeding be left to the professionals.

Before Breeding

If you decide to breed, do so responsibly. This beings by having the male nad female dog you plan on breeding undergo complete physical examinations. Each dog must be screened or various heritable conditions, like hip or shoulder dysplasia, cryptorchidism (undescended testicles), hernias and more. Female dogs will need to be de-warmed to make sure no parasites can be transferred to the puppies. Both dogs will also need to be completely up-to-date on their vaccinations. Ask your vet what vaccines breeding dogs require.

Gestation

The typical gestation period for dogs, or the time between conception to delivery is about 63 to 65 days. Litter size can vary widely, from one puppy to 10 or more. Puppies are weaned at six weeks of age and adopted out at about eight weeks of age. Before adopting puppies out, they should receive their core vaccinations at about six weeks of age.

Durring Pregnancy

During the female's pregnancy, specail care will be required. Four to five meals a should be fed, and many vets recommend premium puppy food to provide extra protein and other nutrients a pregnant or nursing mother will require. Fresh water must also be available at all times. Before the female delivers her litter, you'll need to make a whelping bed. This can be constructed from a large box, outfitted with warm blankets. The box must be large enough for hte mother to arrange and groom her pups once they've been delivers. Don't put a heating pad under the blankets; puppies won't abe able to move away from the heat source if they need to cool themselves.

Delivery

If the female is able to have a natural delivery, most motherdogs will prefer to be left alone during delivery. However, if the mother can't tend to each pup wuickly enough--especially likely with large litters--you may have to step in to help. The birth sacs around each puppy must be removed to prevent suffocation. There may be amniotic fluid in the puppies' mouths and lungs--this can be removed with a bulb syringe or gently shaken away. At this point, the puppy should be rubbed bigorously to stimulate squirming and crying. Then, the puppy should be placed in the whelping bed to allow the mother to finish grooming it. Some dogs will need an emergency Cesarean section (C-section) to deliver the puppies. This is especially common with brachysephalic breeds, who have pushed-in noses, bulging eyes and dome-shaped heads. Their anatomy makes natural delivery more difficult, so surgical removal is often required. If you're breeding a brachycephalic breed like the pug, Pegkinese, English bulldog, French bulldog, Shih Tzu, or Boston terrier, make sure your vet is aware. Keep your vets phone number on hand at all time during the pregnancy and deliery of your dog's litter of puppies. If a partial birth occurs or contrations take place without delivery of a puppy, immediate veterinary attention is required.