Breeding your pet should be considered very carefully. There are a large number of friendly, healthy, unwanted dogs in shelters across Australia and you need to be sure that you can guarantee that all the pups will be able to find a happy and loving home. Only healthy, sociable animals should be bred from and your bitch should have finished growing before mating. Waiting until the third heat before mating is ideal.
Your pet should be checked by a veterinarian prior to mating to ensure that they are healthy, fully vaccinated and wormed. This is a great time to discuss breed requirements with our veterinarians as some breeds require parental testing for heritable disease.
Bitches tend to cycle twice yearly and each cycle normally lasts for 1-2 weeks. Ideally mating should occur about 10-14 days after the onset of bleeding. Most dogs will mate normally with no issues, whilst some may require artificial insemination. Contact us for more details.
We can perform ultrasonography of the pups 4 weeks post mating to check for heartbeats. X-rays can also be performed from 6 weeks post mating and can assist you in obtaining a good idea of how many puppies are present.
Canine pregnancy lasts for about 9 weeks and when your dog becomes close to giving birth you may notice some behavioural changes such as confusion and hiding in unusual places. Hiding usually indicates that the dog is looking for a safe place to give birth. It’s a good idea to prepare a quiet birth place a few weeks in advance so your pet can get used to the ‘nest’. Once your pet starts to give birth you should generally expect a pup per hour and your pet should not be straining for longer than 10 minutes with a pup present in the birth canal. Excessive bleeding, or green discharge without any pup being born is usually an indication of a problem and you should contact us immediately.
After birth, clean up the mother as much as possible without disturbing her. Remove any soiled bedding and provide the mother with fresh water and food if she is willing to eat. For the first few days the mother will be consumed with her puppies but opportunities to toilet should be provided at regular intervals. Over the next few days you should also observe the puppies to ensure that they are feeding well.
Most dogs will have no issues giving birth or taking care of the puppies. If you’re having problems with any of the pups or mum you should contact us straight away.
For more information regarding breeding your dog or to book an appointment, please contact us.