Written by: Tracy Ferrick


You’ve just bought a pet quality animal. Do you understand why it is considered a PET and why it should be spayed or neutered?

If a dog is considered pet quality, there is a reason. The AKC sets breed standards that most breeders follow. Most likely these pet quality animals do not meet these breed standards. These animals should not be bred. Other reasons for an animal being pet quality might be an umbilical hernia, a slight heart murmur, or a testicle that has not dropped. While these are not life threatening, these animals should not be bred.

Be honest with a breeder regarding your intentions. Some people want the best quality they can get. They will even sign a showing and breeding contract and have no intentions of doing either. This causes distrust and hard feelings.

Men usually do not want to neuter male dogs. I guess this is a macho thing, but consider this. No one will use a pet quality animal for breeding and if a male dog has not been bred by the time he is three or four years of age, the chances of his getting prostrate cancer doubles! If you just HAVE TO HAVE testicles on your dog, have him neutered and have the vet use implants.

If your puppy is not micro-chipped or tattooed when you purchase him/her, PLEASE do this. This will provide some safety for your dog. Do you remember the movie "Homeward Bound"? When the dogs were caught by the animal shelter, they had no identification on them. If they had been micro-chipped, the owners or alternate contacts would have been notified. Not all animal shelters have scanners, but if a dog has his collar on with the micro-chip tag number on it, they can contact another shelter and have a scanner brought in. Also not all shelters that have scanners, have the same scanners. However, with the Home Again Animal Recovery System, by AKC, any scanner will be able to pick up that there is a chip in the dog. Yes, even cats may be micro-chipped! Micro-chipping costs vary, but the average seems to be $40-45, with a minimal registration fee.  These are one-time fees that protect your pet for life. In addition to microchipping, Tattooing is another safeguard for your pet, that is reasonably inexpensive. If the collar should come off, the animal shelters will check for a tattoo. This # can be the microchip #, AKC registration #, your driver’s license, your SSN, or a # issued by a national tattoo registry.

Lastly, stay in contact with your breeder. They have valuable information and experience and only want the best for their puppies that are, more often, than not, hand raised. You can join all breed kennel clubs and local breed clubs for fun and camaraderie with other dog people.

If you are in San Diego County, and would like your dog microchipped, please contact me for pricing and availability.



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