Think twice before breeding pets

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 20, 2019

By Nancy Templet Saucier


So, you think it would be cool to breed your dog or cat. So much fun to have all those cute little fluffy babies and see the miracle of birth. Truth is, the world is overrun with those fluffy babies who end up in shelters or dying from lack of care.

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Here’s a checklist to help you decide if breeding your pet is a good idea. If you answer “no” to any of these, then it’s to spay and neuter your animals.

Can you afford to have your pet checked out by a vet before breeding to make sure they are healthy enough? Remember, both members of the breeding pair need to be in good health before reproducing.

Do you have a place that’s clean, dry and protected from the weather and from other animals where your pet can birth and raise its young?

Can you afford to take your animal to the vet – maybe on a weekend or in the middle of the night, when the fees are through the roof – just in case a pup or kitten gets stuck during labor?

If your mama dog or cat gets sick and dies or just refuses to nurse her babies, are you prepared to spend a ton of money on specialized formula and are you going to be available to feed those newborns every 2 hours – day and night for the first couple of weeks? Doing this with just a couple of babies is exhausting, I can tell you from experience. You’ll probably have 6 or 8 or more. You better have a family member or a really good friend lined up to help, because it’s more than one person can handle. If you have a job where you’re working 8 hours or longer, your babies are not going to make it. If you’re lucky, you catch an hour’s sleep and it’s time to do it all again.

Can you afford the medicines your babies are going to need? Necessary vaccines includes those against distemper, parvo and heartworms, to name a few, that ensure they’re going to survive and be healthy.

Are you going to be able to find good homes for all the babies when they are weened?

Intentionally or unintentionally breeding a pet is a commitment. It’s not ok to just breed and let Mother Nature sort it out. If your answer to addressing any of these potential problems is to dump kittens and puppies off at the nearest shelter, then shame on you.

Please spay and neuter your pets. It’s best for their health and well-being. Allowing your animal to breed is not better for their health, mental or physical. Be a responsible pet owner.