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Educational Articles

Dogs + Breeding

  • The estrous cycle in dogs on average happens twice a year once a dog reaches sexual maturity. On average a dog will be in heat for 1½ to 2 weeks but this can be shorter or longer. In many cases, a bloody vaginal discharge is the first sign that a pet owner will notice when their dog comes into heat. In some cases, the discharge will not be apparent until several days after heat has begun. There are no valid reasons for letting a dog have a litter of puppies before being spayed. If you want to keep your dog from having any accidental pregnancies, it is best to have her spayed.

  • On average, dogs go into heat about twice a year or every six months, although it varies from dog to dog. The most obvious sign of heat in dogs is vaginal bleeding. The time of mating is extremely critical and it is highly recommended that you have your female tested to determine the optimal days for breeding. This will improve your chance of success. If mismating occurs with your dog, contact your veterinarian to discuss options. Before breeding your dog, it is best to consult with your veterinarian to ensure the female is healthy and also to discuss the risks.

  • False pregnancy, phantom pregnancy, pseudo-pregnancy or pseudocyesis are all terms that refer to a display of maternal (mothering) behavior combined with the physical signs of pregnancy following estrus ("heat") in a female dog that is not actually pregnant. A false pregnancy may occur in a dog, regardless of whether or not she was mated.

  • The various stages of reproduction provide unique stresses to the body. Each has specific nutritional concerns that should be addressed to maximize both other and puppy health.

  • The various stages of reproduction – heat (estrus), pregnancy, lactation and weaning – provide unique stresses to the body. Each provides specific nutritional concerns that should be addressed to maximize the health of both mother and puppy.

  • There are approximately 400 distinct canine breeds on record that represent an astounding variety of dogs in all shapes, sizes and colors. How did the domestic dog get so many branches on its family tree?

  • Hemophilia A & B are the most common of the inherited blood clotting disorders in dogs. It is the result of a spontaneous mutation of the specific genes that causes a deficiency of blood clotting.

  • There are many possible causes of infertility in female dogs, including behavioral, physical, and medical factors. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and testing to diagnose the reason for your female dog's infertility, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

  • There are many possible causes of infertility in male dogs, including behavioral, physical, and medical factors. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and testing to diagnose the reason for your male dog's infertility, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

  • Miscarriage refers to the death of a fetus during pregnancy. Miscarriages that occur early in pregnancy may be completely asymptomatic, while later-term miscarriages may result in stillborn puppies or mummification. Miscarriage can be caused by infection or hormonal influences. Diagnosis is key to appropriate management. If a dog develops a fever during pregnancy antibiotics may prevent miscarriage.