As there are certain health issues that affect only the female dog, care should be taken to ensure that these are fully understood before deciding whether or not to buy a bitch.
The most important concern is that of spaying.
Only those who are fully educated in all aspects of a specific breed and who have the time and energy to put into making sure that bloodlines are kept strong and healthy should ever consider breeding. With that in mind, most owners of female dogs will not be thinking of breeding and should therefore seriously consider having their pet spayed.
If the necessary surgery is carried out before your dog has her first heat cycle, the likelihood of her ever developing breast cancer will become almost zero percent. That alone is a very good reason to have your dog spayed as breast cancer is otherwise relatively common in older bitches. The chances of your dog developing pyometra, a disease of the uterus that can be fatal, is also greatly reduced.
Having your dog spayed will also relieve her of the twice yearly 'season' and the anxiety that often becomes part of it. She'll no longer want to roam in order to find male dogs to mate with and you'll no longer have to put up with the crowds of dogs who follow you during walks or who gather outside your home. And most importantly of all, unwanted pups will not become a problem.
If your female dog starts collecting her toys and treating them as if they were puppies, she's almost certainly experiencing a false pregnancy. Fortunately, this rarely lasts more than a week and although the dog will become very protective of her imaginary offspring, treat her as normal and she'll soon forget them.
If you've opted to not have your dog spayed, it's important to understand how her heat cycle works. The first 10-14 days is the period BEFORE ovulation and this is the time during which she will bleed. Ovulation occurs as the bleeding stops so it's important to understand that it's during the 10-14 days following bleeding that she's actually most likely to become pregnant. Far too many owners make the mistake of believing that their female dog is safe once the bleeding stops and over-filled dog pounds are the sad result.
Doggie diapers are available in most pet stores and come in a range of sizes to fit different breeds. These are designed to stop the dog leaving blood on your furniture and rugs but unfortunately, unless the dog has been taught to accept wearing them from a very young age, most will soon chew them off.
Female dog owners who choose not to have their dog spayed MUST monitor their dog regularly for any lumps in the breasts and remember that unless they're serious about breeding, they have a duty to ensure that their dog doesn't produce unwanted puppies who will eventually find themselves sitting in a pound waiting for their death sentence to be passed.
Author: Aki Desorcy