Should My Dog Have Puppies Before Being Spayed?


It is a common misconception – no pun intended! – that female dogs should have a litter of puppies before being neutered. This is often a well meaning belief the dog might somehow miss out on being a mother. But is there any truth in this? Holidays4Dogs finds out whether a dog should have puppies before being spayed.

dog sitting, pet sitting

In reality, the female dog does not pine to become a mother in the psychological sense. Neither will she have the capacity to regret not having puppies during her lifetime.

Indeed, there is no evidence to support physical, or mental advantages, to pregnancy in the female dog.

Another common myth, is the belief that having a litter will calm the female down. However, there is also absolutely no evidence to back this up.

Responsibly breeding a litter of puppies is an extremely time consuming and costly exercise. In addition, there are other considerations such as genetic health checks, (which can be costly), stud fees and veterinary treatment should things go wrong with either the mother, or the puppies.

In addition, un-spayed females can develop health issues. If you wish to know more about canine heat cycles you can read more on the subject here.

Moral and financial implications of breeding puppies.

When contemplating breeding a litter of puppies, most people would agree there is a certain moral obligation for breeders of dogs to do their utmost to produce, healthy, sociable puppies.

However, fulfilling this obligation is quite a responsibility and, sadly, there are many thousands of irresponsible puppy farmers. This is especially so, when there are thousands of unwanted dogs in the UK and sitting, pet sitting

There are various minimum requirements for health checks depending on the breed of dog you own. Some of these costs can be quite substantial. It goes without saying that nobody should consider breeding mongrel dogs for any reason!

If breeders don’t carry out the recommended tests for a particular they run the very real risk of producing unhealthy pups. It is also a legal responsibility to ensure all the puppies are micro-chipped which is obviously an extra cost.

Owners will need to oversee the birth of the puppies when the time comes, even if this begins in the early hours of the morning. If things do go wrong with the birth out of hours, the cost of intervention – such as caesarean – can attract a sizeable fee. A female dog may even reject her puppies in this case, leaving a litter of puppies to hand rear.

Day-to-day, rearing a litter of puppies is messy, tiring, smelly and extremely time consuming. For the first three weeks a bitch will do a pretty good job of cleaning up after her puppies, but beyond that there will be a constant round of feeding and keeping puppies – and mum -clean. If puppies are not placed with new owners at 8 weeks, the responsibilities then extend to house-training and general training associated with raising a well balanced puppy.


We hope this Holidays 4 Dogs article has been useful for those considering letting their dog have a litter before being spayed. By choosing not to breed, owners can prevent more puppies from overwhelming rescue charities any further with unwanted dogs.