August 30, 2010

Breeding Your Dog

Filed under: breeders — Dr. Amber Reed @ 8:44 am

From time to time, dog owners decide they would like to breed their dog.  Whether they want to get another pup just like the one they already have, or they’re looking to teach their children about the birds and the bees, you should not enter into the decision to breed your dog lightly.  Even if you are breeding your dog to try to make money, it is important to realize that you might breed the cutest puppies yet still struggle to find homes for them.  In fact, there are a wide range of good reasons you should not breed your dog.

First of all, you have no actual control over the temperament or appearance of new puppies.  Like in all breeding situations, the traits of the puppies will reflect a mixture of their parents’ traits good or bad.  Even in situations where dogs have been cloned, the temperament of the new dogs cannot be controlled as environmental factors come into play at every biological level.  If you are looking to find a similar dog to the one you already have, there is no guarantee that you will succeed.

Moreover, as a money making venture, the costs of breeding often exceed the profits of selling puppies.  Plus, when you take into account things like vaccinations for new puppies, maternal health care, and the possibility for difficult pregnancies, the costs can be quite steep.  Most importantly however, is finding homes for puppies.  There are numerous happy, healthy dogs available at pet shelters that often cost very little for a family looking for a dog.  In fact, hundreds of dogs are destroyed in North America every day because they have no home.  Indeed, breeding is a difficult and costly process that can rarely be justified.  As such, you should seriously consider the decision to breed your dog and the associated challenges before proceeding.

June 25, 2010

How to Choose a Trustworthy Dog Breeder

Filed under: breeders — Dr. Amber Reed @ 6:24 pm

Most of us take a trip down to the pet store or local animal shelter when we want to add a puppy to our family.  However, some people choose to go to a professional breeder usually when they want to buy a pure bred dog.  While most breeders are trustworthy, there are plenty of dog breeders out there that are not.  Some breeders mistreat their animals, keep them in unhealthy surroundings, and focus on only one aspect of dog breeding: making money.  If you’ve decided that you want to go to a breeder for a new puppy, there are some precautions you should take to make sure that your dog comes from a good breeder and has been cared for properly.

First of all, ask your breeder specific questions about the breed and dogs in general.  They should have lots of information about a variety of topics including health factors that affect that breed, genetic conditions, grooming considerations and more.  If you speak to a breeder and he or she seems to be ignorant about the breed, this is your first warning sign.  Next, you want to visit the facilities where your dog was born and make sure that the environment is stable and supportive.  A trustworthy breeder will show you where the puppy was born and where it lives.  Reputable breeders will also let you meet the mother and other offspring.  You should ensure that the environment is clean and that the animals have sufficient space and are receiving proper care.  Finally, it is important to ensure that your breeder is registered with the local human society or other breeding organization like the CKC or CFA.

Generally speaking, reputable breeders want to showcase their animals at professional competitions so these are a great place to find good breeders.  Most importantly, speak to friends who have gone to a breeder and try to get recommendations from the breeders as well.

May 14, 2010

What are Puppy Mills?

Filed under: breeders,Puppy Mills — Dr. Amber Reed @ 6:05 pm

what are puppy millsDog lovers are often surprised to hear about the existence of puppy mills.  When you enter a pet store to find the perfect addition to your family, you don’t expect to hear about puppy mills that are essentially breeding facilities that produce large numbers of purebred puppies for commercial game.  But the reality of puppy mills is all too true and humane societies throughout North America have major concerns about puppy mills.

The biggest problems associated with puppy mills are almost always related to health factors.  Dogs born in puppy mills often receive poor veterinary care and may even be the result of severe inbreeding.  Over breeding, poor nutrition, poor socialization, and poor living conditions are all very serious concerns that humane societies have about puppy mills.  In fact, the prevalence of hereditary diseases, euthanasia of unwanted puppies, and malnutrition in puppy mills makes these very frightening institutions indeed.  And the problems with puppy mills are not exclusive to the health of the puppies alone; for example, breeder dogs are often forced to live in puppy mills for the duration of their lives so that they can continue to breed more puppies.

canine stressPet stores often stock purebred dogs from puppy mills.  While registration certificates are a requirement for purebred dogs, it is actually quite difficult to track the lineage of these dogs and subsequently the number of purebreds coming from puppy mills seems to be on the rise.  If you want to get a purebred dog but you want to avoid puppy mills the best thing you can do is find a qualified breeder and view his or her facilities.  Good breeders socialize their puppies with humans, feed them a healthy diet, give them plenty of exercise, and ensure that the puppies have access to adequate veterinary care.  Moreover, most reputable breeders will interview prospective owners to ensure that their puppies end up in loving, nurturing homes.

February 26, 2010

Thinking of Getting a Puppy? Should You Buy from a Breeder or a Pet Shop?

Filed under: breeders,buy from a breeder,pet shop,purchase puppies from the pet shop — Dr. Amber Reed @ 7:35 am

getting a new puppyThe first decision that faces anybody who wants a puppy is where to get it from. You can adopt a puppy, which is always a great option because you’re saving a loving animal, but you can also get a young puppy from a pet shop or a breeder. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to make the decision and ultimately, your choice will depend on your personal preferences.

getting a new puppyPet shops are often associated with horror stories of animal treatment. Hundreds of dogs, cats, and other animals packed into a small space receive the minimal care required. How can pet shops not be a bad thing? It’s true, before you buy a dog form a pet store you need to do your research. Find a pet store with a good reputation and visit first. Decide if the animals are well cared for, in clean living environments, by loving professionals. In such cases, you can feel confident that you’re getting a happy and healthy puppy. But remember, there are pet shops that do not live up to these minimal standards and you run the risk of getting a dog that has various health or social problems.

Breeders are often a great alternative, especially if you want to make sure your dog is well cared for. Breeders, whether professional or not, often have much fewer animals to care for and their living conditions are much better. Dogs from professional breeders generally have good temperaments, are healthy, and friendly. Unfortunately, when you go through a breeder, you have much fewer options available to you. Usually, you can only select from one breed and there may only be one or two puppies at the time.

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to both pet shops and breeders. You need to consider your own opinions and do some research before you decide where to buy your dog.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.