Looking to get your first or your next puppy? That’s awesome! Before you scour Facebook groups for adorable puppies at a reasonable price, I would like you to put yourself in the shoes of a breeder.
For a dog to be healthy, you (a breeder) must ensure the dog’s mental and physical well-being. To be physically healthy, you (a breeder) must regularly exercise the dog spending an average of 1 hour per day per dog. Dog’s mental well being can be improved by regularly training the dog or by providing enrichment activities that stimulates the brain.
You have to spend about 1-1.5 hours per day per dog to keep the dog healthy in addition to providing good food. Nutritious meal could cost anywhere between INR 100 to INR 200 per day per dog.
Female dogs usually come into heat once every six months. A female bitch should be bred starting from the second heat skipping the first. Usually the first heat is skipped because of the potential health risks associated. You have to take care of the dogs (both male and female) for about 1 to 1.5 years before the first pregnancy.
The number of puppies in a litter would vary. On average, you can expect 5 puppies. A simple math would tell us that you have to spend about INR 1,62,000 ( 18 months x 30 days x INR 300) before you see a litter a 5 puppies, in addition to spending about 1620 hours (18 months x 30 days x 3 hours)
Assuming that you make ZERO profit, each puppy is estimated to cost INR 32,500/- (162000 / 5). This excludes the money spent on vaccination and other health care demands.
Now that you have the figures in front of you, how WOULD YOU feel when a potential customers asks your puppy for 1/3 rd of the estimated cost?
The trouble doesn’t stop here. Most Indians will only be interested in getting a male and NOT a female puppy. This again makes the situation worse. If you’re lucky your litter’s male to female ratio would be high.
If the above numbers makes sense to you, then you might ask, “how can one find a puppy for a cheaper price in the market?”. The answer is unethical breeding.
Unethical breeding takes place to keep the cost low and to make profit. Unethical breeding includes
- feeding non nutritious meals to cut down cost,
- not exercising the dogs mentally and physically (the intention is to make money selling puppies and not caring about the dogs well-being)
- breeding during every heat cycle (Female dogs become physically weak)
- weaning the puppies before the recommended 8 week period
- chaining or caging the dogs because of limited space
- not vaccinating the puppies on time
- not socializing the puppies during the imprinting stage
- not considering the temperament while breeding
- not spaying/neutering when a hereditary disease is identified
- not educating the buyer about the breed and its genetic demands
My intention in writing this post is to shed light on what actually goes behind breeding a dog. I do not sell puppies or breed dogs commercially.