THE COST OF REARING A LITTER OF PUPPIES

Some think breeding is a good way to make some easy money. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Done correctly, breeding is rarely a money making exercise and if there are any problems at all it can be a financial disaster.

A general breakdown of the average cost (as at June 2016) of breeding a litter and what you get for your money when buying a well bred Collie puppy.
Based on a litter of five puppies. Most of the costs would be the same even for one or two puppies and even none at all.

Stud fee (plus fuel costs to get to stud dog) £350 upwards (average £450 - £500)
Scanning to check if bitch in whelp £50
Additional food costs for dam £75
Whelping box £450

Heat pad
or

Heat lamp

£50
Thermometer £10
After paying stud fee and buying whelping box etc, the bitch may have missed and/or have pyometra with no puppies - cost of pyometra (if emergency pyo in middle of night the cost would be more) £1200
Additional electricity to cover heating £30
Nutri drops £15
C Section (if necessary) £1000
Puppy milk if no milk from dam £25 per tin
Puppy Food - average litter of five puppies would require 3 large bags £150
Sundry puppy food - goats milk, eggs, rice pudding and meat £100
Wormer £50
Vet beds (5 metre roll) £120
Puppy pads (5 packs) £120
Large puppy Pen to keep puppies safe and contained within the house once weaned £150
Additional Puppy Pen for outdoors if summer litter £150
Eye tests £70
Microchipping at £20 each puppy £100
Kennel club registration at £15 each puppy £75
Kennel Club affix £70 for initial registration and £20 per annum thereafter  

Conservative average spend £2000+
(excluding any additional vet fees to cover C section, Pyometra, vet check for puppies, fuel costs, time off work etc)

The Dog Trust recommendations when buying a puppy below

Good breeders will not let a puppy go until he/she is at least eight weeks old.

What to ask yourself and the breeder:

  • Can I see the puppies with their mum?
    Be sure mum is a nice, friendly dog because temperament can be inherited. She might be defensive of her puppies so take that into account. If you’re not allowed to see them together, it might be that they’re not really her puppies.
  • How old is mum?
    She should be over a year old, but not obviously very old.
  • Have the puppies been wormed?
    All puppies have worms at birth. Worming should start with the breeder at about two weeks old, be repeated every two weeks and be continued by you.
  • Have the puppies had any vaccinations? If so, when is the next dose due?
    Puppies should be vaccinated at 6-9 weeks of age and then again at 10-12 weeks. They will become fully protected two weeks after the second vaccination. You will need to do this if the breeder has not.
  • Does the puppy look healthy – clean eyes, ears etc?
    If the puppy is unwell, collect him another day. If he’s still ill then, do not take him and try another breeder.
  • What should I feed my puppy? Do you have a diet sheet to take away?
    A good breeder will give you enough food to continue exactly the same diet for a couple of days. They should also give you a diet sheet that shows how feeding should change as your puppy grows.
  • What sort of socialisation or experiences has my puppy had so far?
    Puppies should preferably be raised in a home environment with all the noise and through traffic of a normal home. Those raised in kennels away from the house will need more intensive socialisation training to ensure they can cope with daily life as a pet. If puppies have already met other dogs, domestic animals and people they will have more confidence than those that have not.
  • Can I return the puppy if there are any health problems or my circumstances change?
    You should take your new puppy to a vet for a health check within 48 hours. A good breeder will offer to take the puppy back at any point should you be unable to keep him.
  • Is the puppy Kennel Club registered?
    If so, make sure you are given the registration certificate and pedigree when you pick up your puppy. You may also get some free health insurance for the first few weeks.
  • When can I take the puppy home?
    It is absolutely essential to see the puppies with their mother. Some unscrupulous people claiming to be breeders might in fact be dealers who have bought the pups in. They are likely to be poorly bred, might be ill and are usually too young to leave their exhausted, ill-treated mothers. If they survive, these puppies rarely make good pets, and you will be fuelling this cruel trade where money is the priority and welfare of the dog is ignored.
  • If in doubt, you can speak to one of the members of your local breed club who would be more than happy to recommend a breeder.

Remember:

  • NEVER buy from a pet shop
  • AVOID anywhere advertising more than three different breeds
  • DO NOT buy a puppy if you have any doubts about the breeder or situation – even if you want to rescue it.

 

USEFUL DOCUMENTS FOR BREEDERS