Safe & Responsible Breeding Practices
All animals breed from a natural instinct to reproduce. Selective breeding made it possible for people to develop dogs and cats with unique physical features and behavioural attributes. Selective breeding and domestication have influenced how dogs and cats developed.
Many welfare problems can be prevented through responsible breeding practices. Breeding should be purposeful to prevent unwanted dogs and cats. The decision to breed should be carefully considered.
There are a number of animal welfare problems associated with breeding certain dogs and cats. Many people breed to exaggerate physical features like short legs or flat faces – this often leads to a variety of health and welfare issues. For instance, dogs and cats that are bred to have flat faces, known as brachycephalic, have a host of health problems.
A veterinarian should be consulted for breeding health examinations, pregnant dogs and cats, birthing and newborn care.
Dogs and cats need people who understand that breeding requires care to prevent injury and to protect the animal’s health.
What does the Code of Practice say about breeding practices?
Responsible breeding of dogs:
“The breeding of dogs is a serious responsibility that requires a commitment of education, time, and financial resources. Responsible breeders have an in-depth understanding of animal health and welfare. They strive to breed dogs that experience a good quality of life. A good quality of life is one in which dogs normally experience a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, without disease or illness. Breeders can achieve this by following the requirements and recommended best practices established in the CVMA Code of Practice for Canadian Kennel Operations and by having a good working relationship with a veterinarian.”
Excerpt obtained from the Code of Practice for Kennel Operations (3rd Edition, 2018), Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, pg. 40.
Responsible breeding of cats:
“The breeding of cats is a serious responsibility that requires a commitment of both time and financial resources. Breeders should ensure all breeding cats are of sound health and temperament and have been tested for inherited disorders where appropriate. Breeders should also ensure there is a market for the offspring prior to breeding.”
Excerpt obtained and used with permission from the Code of Practice for Cattery Operations (2009), Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, pg. 16.