Sunday, February 5, 2012

Should you breed your dog?

Max's shelter picture...Awwww.
Puppy and kitten season is almost upon us and while I love the puppy breath and kitten pounces, I've decided I would wade into the thorny issue of pet breeding. When I set out to create this blog I meant recycled rover not only in beds and toys, but in pets too. There are thousands of amazing pets of all species in shelters and odds are high you can fall in love with one sheltered within a day's drive of your home.  If you want a purebred dog, a breeder is sometimes the first thing people think of and there are some wonderful breeders out there, but roughly 30% of shelter animals are purebred. (Max, the ninja, is.) And hey, if you want an awesome mutt-a-doodle-poo-kie, they show up at shelters too. I'm also a firm believer of spay and neuter to not only help overpopulation but to help keep prevent a whole host of problems, the least of which is an "oops" litter.

So now I sound kinda harsh so I'll clarify. Am I going to brow beat someone who buys from a (good) breeder? No. Am I going to frown on pet store puppies and internet deals from back-yard-breeders? Yup, every time. (I live in Missouri, puppy mill capitol of the world. We DON'T NEED any more puppy mills or BYB's.) Am I always going to encourage consideration of rescue or shelters? Absolutely. If you need any inspiration check out the adoptable dogs in the top right corner of the page. Foster parents, adoptive parents and the rescue community (many of whom are also great breeders) are my heroes.

If you think you want to breed your dog check out the handy flow chart below to double check. (who doesn't love flow charts anyway!) If you think you want to buy from a breeder, check out the flow chart for things to ask about. If your breeder can't pass the flow chart, don't buy a dog only to give them more space to have more puppies.

For the record, this flow chart was not entirely my idea. I adapted and updated it from where you can see the original.