Pet Health Education Handouts

Pet Health Education Handouts

Breeding

  • There are two methods to prevent estrus, or "heat," in a female dog: surgery and medical management using hormonal drugs.

  • Breeding cats and raising kittens can be an extremely rewarding experience or it may result in frustration and failure. The following information is provided in order to increase your chances of success and make the experience more enjoyable and safe.

  • You can place most puppies in their new homes at around eight to ten weeks of age, ideally after ten weeks of age to ensure proper weaning and maximum social development.

  • For the next two months, even if everything went smoothly with the birth, you have a lot of work to do!

  • During the first three weeks of life, puppies require little care from the owner, provided the mother is doing her job. Weaning describes the transition of the puppy's diet from its mother's milk to the solid growth diet of puppyhood.

  • Although the majority of dogs will give birth without the need for human or veterinary assistance, certain problems can arise which require veterinary attention. It is important to closely monitor your pet during birthing and seek veterinary care if you have any concerns.

  • Puberty or sexual maturity in the female dog usually occurs around six months of age. The smaller breeds tend to go into estrus or "heat" earlier and some females can have their first "heat" cycle as early as four months of age. On the other hand, the large and giant breeds can be up to two years old before they come into heat for the first time.

  • Pregnancy in dogs, also called the gestation period, normally ranges from 57-65 days with an average of 63 days.

  • Many owners find the companionship of their dog so rewarding that they feel they would like to breed their dog, to continue the bloodline and/or to keep a puppy. Others, especially first time dog owners, will acquire a female dog with the intent to breed her when she is old enough.

  • After mating, many females will show changes in behavior, often becoming more affectionate. However, some pets will become uncharacteristically irritable and may even act aggressive during pregnancy. Be sensitive to your pet's behavioral changes and be sure to alert your veterinarian if you are concerned.