So you think your dog is cute and your friends wish they had one just like yours? Or you think it would be good for your children to witness a live birth? Or you paid money for a dog “with papers” and now it’s time to recoup the investment? You can breed it yourself and make a fortune (no fortune, of course, if the bitch requires a C-Section to deliver, or if you have the puppies examined and vaccinated, or heaven forbid they don’t sell quickly and you have to start feeding them). Yes, mutt or purebred, you have talked yourself into breeding your pet.
Wait a minute. Please. Just because your pet is cute doesn’t mean its progeny will be equally attractive in looks or temperament (do you follow Hollywood?). And those friends who were just WAITING to get a dog often find it inconvenient when the time comes and decide to “wait till the next litter”. And why is it that you want your kids to experience the birth, but you fail to include them in the rest of the story – the ultimate Reality Show where you find out that half of the litter is not expected to stay in its original home? Should you tell your children to choose their favorite, then “kiss the rest goodbye”? Do you know that 25 % of the dogs turned in to Animal Shelters are purebred? That you can spay or neuter your dog for less than it costs to raise a litter of puppies? That HUNDREDS of dogs are euthanized every month, not just here in Merced County, but every city and county in the United States, because we would be over-run with stray and unwanted pets if we didn’t?
Start with one female dog and let’s do the math (courtesy of the Arizona Humane Society):
In her first year she produces 4 pups, 2 of them females (4 total)
Second year production of first and second generation females is 12 pups, 6 female (12)
Third year production of 3 generations of females is 36 pups, 18 females (36)
Fourth year production of four generations of females is 108 pups, 54 females (108)
Fifth year production of five generations of females is 324 pups, 162 females (324)
Sixth year production of 6 generations of females is 972 pups, 486 females (972)
Seventh year production is 2, 916 puppies…..
If you think there is a population problem in the world, it does not even compare to the population explosion in the pet world!
Christine McFadden, DVM