Pregnancy and your pet dog

pregnant dogA huge grey area exists for many would-be dog breeders when it comes to mating your dog in the hope of breeding a litter of puppies.

Age is everything; a dog that becomes pregnant too soon can be susceptible to lots of medical problems. Breeding too soon is risky for the female, and different breeds of dogs are ready to mate at different stages in their lives. I can depend on the maturity of the breed of dog; most breeds have a more enjoyable pregnancy if they are mated at the age of 18 to 24 months.

A young dog that is not fully mature may have a problem breastfeeding her litter, as she can almost be considered to be still a baby herself. Also, a young dog may not be ready mentally to breed, and there is a risk that will reject her litter.

A dog that is born less than the recognised size of a breed is usually known as a runt: their bodies take a little longer to grow to the size the breed requires, and a dog needs to have strong bones and muscles before pregnancy.

However a small breed of dog is not included in this category; Mother Nature intended them to be small.

A considerate owner of a dog will take her pet to the vets for a full check-up, and if given a clean bill of health will then consider her looking for a stud dog to mate her with.