We all love puppies and kittens, and breeding is something many of us consider, but is it the right thing to do? By Carrol Baker.
The verdict: When it comes to breeding your cat or dog, PETS magazine strongly believes it’s best left to the professionals.
Have you thought about mating your dog or cat to witness puppies or kittens being born? Do you think breeding is a way to make some money? Or that there should be more cats or dogs out there just like your special pet for others to enjoy?
Although these might seem like good reasons to breed, the reality is that breeding is a job that’s best left to the experts. Responsible and dedicated breeders enjoy what they do, but the understand it’s a labour of love that’s performed for the right reasons: for the betterment of the breed, and to see happy, healthy puppies and kittens find loving homes.
Becoming a breeder takes effort, knowledge and commitment. Breeders might need to pitch in during the birth, help care for the babies, make sure the puppies and kittens are properly socialised, pay for medical treatment, and screen potential buyers so the pups or kittens go to good homes.
It’s a huge responsibility — after all, the lives of those puppies and kittens are in the hands of the breeder! According to Hugh Gent from the Australian National Kennel Council Ltd, most of the time things will run smoothly, but they don’t always. “Mum might be unwilling or unable to care for the puppies, or there could be problems during the birth,” he says. “Dedicated breeders know that it’s a lot of work,” says Hugh. “That can also include getting up in the middle of the night to feed the puppies or kittens if needed.”
Rescue a cat or dog from a shelter and you’re giving it another chance at life. Michael Beatty from the RSPCA Queensland says there are many good reasons why rescue is a good choice. Pets at rescue organisations such as the RSPCA are vaccinated, microchipped and desexed. Buy from a pet shop and you’ll have the expense of having these things done at a later date.
The animals have been temperament tested. “Every single dog that leaves the RSPCA is behaviour tested to see what its personality is like,” says Michael. Is the dog shy? Maybe it doesn’t like other cats or is happier in the company of older people?
You are dealing with experts. “Organisations like the RSPCA and other rescue organisations are good at understanding different breeds and any little idiosyncrasies they might have,” says Michael.