Dog breeders have a fundamental responsibility to protect the well-being of the animals they produce. Unfortunately, dog owners throughout the United States spend countless sums annually to diagnose and treat preventable genetic diseases. 

Responsible breeders adhere to various practices which improve the genetic health of their animals. But that’s just one aspect of behaving ethically. Here are some guidelines to help you become an ethical dog breeder. 

8 Tips for Ethically Breeding Your Dog

If you wish to breed your dog, it only makes sense that you would want to do it correctly and responsibly. Even the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes Breeders of Merit for their dedication to approaching the breeding process properly. Here are eight tips for ethically breeding your dog. 

1. Get Prepared for Breeding

Breeding dogs can be rewarding but also time-consuming and costly. Make sure you understand what you’re getting into by studying what’s involved, attending some dog events, and connecting with other breeders. 

2. Breed to Improve

The responsible breeder’s motto is “Breed to Improve.” This means you are doing everything possible to avoid serious genetic issues by finding mates that will balance or eliminate any existing flaws. 

3. Choose the Proper Mate

Once you understand the commitment involved, it’s time to search for a suitable mate. Provided both the sire (male dog) and dam (female dog) are AKC registered, the resulting litter will be eligible for AKC registration. As mentioned before, the health and temperament of the mate you choose should complement your animal’s. 

4. Approach Breeding Properly

Consider doing pre-breeding medical testing so you can identify any genetic problems that might impact your litter. Once complete, you are ready to create a stud contract and approach breeding, which should only happen when the dogs have reached sexual maturity. 

5. Take Proper Care of Pregnancy and Puppies

Your veterinarian can confirm a pregnancy and advise you on any special care requirements. You’ll want to create a whelping box early, so your dog has time to get accustomed to it before delivery. Most puppies are born without issue, but you can consult with your veterinarian if complications arise. 

6. Register Your Litter

Make sure you register your litter with the AKC, so it creates an official record and offers the new owner access to information and valuable services. 

7. Wean Puppies Correctly

Your trusted veterinarian is a good source of information and support for weaning your puppies. Most breeds are weaned between two to four weeks of age. 

8. Choose New Homes Carefully

Part of being a responsible pet breeder is ensuring the animals you create also end up in responsible hands. Carefully screen each family or person interested in purchasing one of your puppies and offer continued assistance even after the puppy leaves your care. 

Get the Dog Breeding and Reproductive Services You Need

One aspect of ethically breeding your dog is making sure they are healthy and have appropriate reproductive care. At Florence Animal Hospital in South Carolina, our experienced veterinarians specialize in delivering high-quality and compassionate care for performance animals, cats, and horses. 

We offer routine vet services as well as orthopedic and reproductive services for your animals. Call us today at (843) 799-5125 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.