Is Your Dog Too Old to Have Puppies Safely?
Being a dog owner and seeing a pregnant dog happy to give birth to a litter is one of the best experiences in life. Then, once those pups are all grown up and adopted by loving families, dog owners might have questions about repeating the wonderful experience. Is the mama dog not too old to have another litter of pups?
Apart from her age, there are also several other things you need to consider, including the dog’s breed, health, mental health, and past injury or illness history. For example, small breeds like Yorkies have a longer lifespan than large breeds like Labradors, and the same applies to having puppies, and females of smaller breeds can go through pregnancy more times than large breed mama dogs.
View Table of Contents
- When is a Female Dog too Old to Breed?
- How often does a Female Dog come into Season?
- When is a Male Dog too Old to Breed?
When is a Female Dog too Old to Breed?
While menopause is the sign for humans that their time to bear children is ending, canines do not go through menopause. Female dogs can become pregnant and have puppies throughout their lives. However, the fact that they can have puppies in their senior years does not mean they should.
How often does a Female Dog come into Season?
Female dogs usually experience estrus twice a year. By the time a female dog is about seven years old, the frequency of estrus has diminished, which means she is not likely to become pregnant as frequently. Yet, female dogs never cease to be capable of conceiving puppies. The puppies born to older dogs will be of poorer health, and the litters will seem smaller compared to those born when she was younger. As a result, the new puppies’ health will be less robust than pups born to a younger female dog. Similarly, older dogs might have a more challenging time whelping.
How does an Older Female Dog cope with Caring for her Newborn Pups?
Even for a healthy and young female dog, nursing a litter of puppies can be challenging. The elderly mama dog, no matter what supplements she gets, will become very weak. If she does not produce enough milk, the owner may have to substitute some. You should be prepared for the daunting task of caring for your pregnant doggo and a litter of newborn puppies. Nevertheless, it will be worth it when you meet that adorable pack of puppies.
What are the Red Flags to Prevent your Dog from having more Pregnancies?
No dog owner should allow their precious canine companion to have puppies after her tenth birthday. If the dog owner misses the red flags indicating that enough is enough, the following may occur to show that pregnancy is maybe one too many:
- A challenging 58 to 68 days of pregnancy
- A difficult birth or the need for a c-section
- Giving birth to a single puppy
- Stillborn puppies, one, several, or the entire litter
What Health Issues can a New Mama Dog Experience?
Older dogs can suffer from mastitis and uterine infections after giving birth. A reddish secretion after whelping is normal, but a black secretion indicates uterine infection. Besides her nipples, check her breasts for swelling and redness, which are both indicators of mastitis.
After your dog gives birth, make sure to keep an eye on her. If she’s refusing to eat, having spasms, and ignoring her puppies, see the veterinarian right away.
How to Look out for your Precious Canine Companion?
Their owners have a responsibility to safeguard their dogs’ interests. Despite their bodies’ disallowance, they are driven by instinct to keep on reproducing regardless of their bodies’ limitations. Dogs do not understand the concept of genetics either. To breed strong pups, their owners must choose a compatible, healthy mate. Taking good care of a pet is more important than exploitation for money.
The age of a dog does not necessarily contribute to its contraception. Ten-year-olds aren’t likely to conceive easily; however, it’s not impossible. Dogs that become pregnant late in life face a great deal of risk. It would be best to have your female spayed as soon as you decide that she should never be pregnant again. As a female dog grows older, she is more likely to develop medical conditions of the reproductive system. As well as being the easiest method of contraception for dogs, spaying them is also the most effective way to do so.
When is a Male Dog too Old to Breed?
Male dogs can sire puppies up to 12 years, depending on the breed. However, health and mental issues will also play a role. While this article does not focus on professional breeders, it might be worth mentioning that professional breeders retire their male dogs anywhere from 10 to 12 years old. The American Kennel Club limits the age of male dogs to 12 years.
However, there is no hard and fast rule for non-breeders to prevent alder dogs from mating. The following issues could indicate that a male companion dog’s days of making babies are over:
- Low rates of conception
- Fewer puppies per litter
- Developing health issues
The Bottom Line
We worry more about the health of our aging dogs as they age, their comfort, their ability to enjoy life, and other factors similar to aging. Yet, when we think of them, we probably never think about the possibility that they could still have puppies even into their golden years, and only we, as dog owners, can prevent that.