Sire and Dam Exam:

  1. Your dog should be age appropriate.
    • Females over one year
    • Males over 10 months
  2. Current on core vaccinations and dewormings.
    • A negative stool check is recommended.
  3. Health testing appropriate to the breed or combination of breeds, more information is available on the parent club web site for each breed and on OFFA.org.
  4. No obvious health issues that could make breeding dangerous for the sire or dam and no obvious genetic issues.
  5. Brucellosis testing before each litter for females and every 6 months for males.
    • Brucellosis can be transmitted not only through breeding but from any bodily fluid from an infected dog. Brucellosis is also transmittable to people.

Sire

  1. A normal physical examination including two normal testicles.
  2. Semen adequate for conception.
    • A semen evaluation is advised if the dog has never bred before, is older, or has missed breeding’s.

Dam

  1. A normal physical examination including normal vaginal exam if she is a virgin bitch.
    • No constrictions, hymen, or masses.
  2. Vaginal culture and lab work for problem bitches; bitches who have reabsorbed puppies, had small litters, or have been bred before and have not conceived.
    • Vaginal cultures should include Mycoplasma testing (“Repro Cultures” line item in Avimark)
  3. Pre breeding lab work for any bitches over 5 years old is recommended including thyroid levels.
  4. Progesterone testing starting at day 4 to day 7 to start with baseline

Recommended deworming and vaccination schedule for litters

Dewormings:

2 weeks Pyrantel Pamoate
4 weeks Pyrantel Pamoate
6 weeks Pyrantel Pamoate (Strongid) for small breed puppies, Fenbendazole (Panacur) for large breed puppies
8 weeks Fenbendazole
12 weeks Comprehensive fecal check

   
Vaccines:

5 weeks NeoPar for puppies at high risk for Parvo
7 weeks DHPP
10 weeks DHPP
14 weeks DHPP & Bordetella, Rabies – anytime after 12 weeks

 
*Wellness puppy exams and microchipping also available. Recommended vaccines schedules for puppies vary.  At your consultation we can answer questions and decide what is best for your litter.  Deworming need to be done even if the bitch has a negative stool check.  Mother dogs can have roundworms sequestered in their tissues that do not show up on fecal checks but can be passed through the placenta to the puppies.  Dewormers are available.  Ask during your office consultations.

Things to consider before breeding:

Do you have the time, money and room for a litter of puppies?

  • Pregnant bitches need ultrasounds, radiographs, frequent exams and optimal nutrition.
  • Dedicated space and appropriate environment to raising the puppies.
  • Some puppies and dams need care 24/7 for the first 4-5 weeks.
  • C- sections can cost upwards of $2500 in the case of an emergency.
  • Some puppies have to be tube fed or bottle fed every 2-3 hours for the first 4 weeks.
  • The finances to deworm and vaccinate a litter. (see below)*
  • Have you found homes for all the puppies?
  • Ability to take a puppy back if the new home cannot keep it anymore.

Whelping Supplies: (this list is minimal)

  1. A room separate from other dogs that can be kept at about 80 degrees if needed.
  2. Some type of whelping box or a child’s swimming pool, see Jonart or Durawhep on line for more information. The bottom half of a plastic crate sometimes works for smaller dogs.
  3. A heat source such as a light, heating pad, space heater, or a combination of these.  Thermal burns can happen if it is too hot, especially in the case of heating pads.  Hypothermia can be an issue, especially if the puppies are small or are not gaining weight well.
  4. A rectal thermometer to monitor the bitch’s temperature and the puppy’s temperature. In addition, to a thermometer to monitor room temperature.
  5. Bedding for the whelping box. It needs to be easy to clean and you will need several sets.
  6. Towels to dry off the puppies as they are born.
  7. Something to tie off the umbilical cords if needed, a new package of unscented dental floss works fine.
  8. Scissors to cut the dental floss and placentas.
  9. An infant nasal aspirator to remove excessive fluid out of the oral and nasal passages of newborns.
  10. A scale to weigh the puppies twice a day.

Further information regarding whelping and puppies can be covered during the pregnancy ultrasound appointment, at 28 to 35 days of the pregnancy, or at a pregnancy radiograph, 55 days of pregnancy.