Breeding your Shih Tzu

There is no doubt that puppies make pet owners’ lives a little brighter, happier and simply, better. Puppies are like sunshine to any household and it is like having a new baby to take care of. Apart from getting to cuddle these cute furballs, breeders also get to earn profits by selling these canine babies to new families. Do you have a Shih Tzu that you want to breed? Whether for profit or simply for your heart’s fulfilment, here are some things you could use when planning to expose your Shih Tzu to some bumpin, lovin and babyin’.
The most important thing to consider in breeding is the health of both the dam and the sire. First, bring the breeding animals to the vet for a thorough check up of any prevailing ailment or genetic defect that might be passed on and affect the health of the puppies. Common ailments that must be checked are progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts and ectropion of the eyes, urine tests such as BUN and Creatinine and hip dysplasia through radiography. Dogs usually come into heat as early as 6 months old; however, females must be bred at the second heat at around a year old or older. Male dogs must be 3 lbs heavier than the female for a successful mating. When heat or menstruation has started, Shih tzu’s are suggested to be bred at 9, 11, and 13th day from the day of menstruation. Though it just takes one breeding to produce puppies, repeat breeding wil maximize the sire and will ensure pregnancy. Dams above 7 years old and which already produced 3 litters must be stopped breeding as this may cause further problems to the dog and the puppies.
After breeding, make sure not to overdose the female with a fatty diet as heavier dams usually lead to dystocia or difficult whelping. A week after breeding, consult a veterinarian to make sure that the puppies and dam are healthy. X-ray and ultrasound where puppies are counted are usually done at around 50 days from breeding date. Just provide plenty of water and 2 weeks before the schedule of delivery, diet the dam for ease of puppy expulsion.
It is also important to read and inform yourselves as pet owners on the usual encountered risks and preparation that should be done while waiting for your dog to give birth. It is most vital to know how to facilitate ‘assisted’ whelping to be able to attend to your dog if ever dystocia occurs. Moreover, puppy expulsion and interval should be within 30 minutes to 1 hour. When it takes longer, it is already time to call the vet as this is considered an emergency situation. Constant communication with the vet for checkups will surely reduce chances of dystocia and difficulties.
Whelping problems are actually rare and if an owner is prepared, normal delivery is expected. It usually takes 60 days on the average before you welcome the new Shih Tzu cuddles into the world and into your home.