Breeding Our Pets

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The pros of breeding are self-evident. First and perhaps most important to our hearts, we perpetuate our pets. The relatively short life of a pet, (the typical lifespan is just over 12 years for a dog and 16 years for a cat) is the cause of the greatest sadness we have as owners. With purebreds in particular, breeding creates a continuity, almost an immortality. Second, and again appealing to our hearts, breeding is 'natural'. Our hearts tell us that a pet's objective is to survive and multiply. Men say dogs should be allowed to do more than just wave their magic wands. They should have fun. Women say bitches should experience the joys of nurturing, of suckling a litter, of creating life.

The arguments against breeding are 'mind' rather than 'heart'. Be realistic. It might be "natural" to let our pets breed but is it "natural" that we keep them as companions at all? In a "natural" environment would there ever be as great a congregation of unrelated dogs as there are in Regents Park or Kensington Gardens in the morning? Is it "natural" to help runts survive, to intervene in survival of the fittest, which is what we did when we created miniature or dwarfed breeds? To us we can’t equate our pets to other animals that fend for themselves. Pets and humans have formed an integrated ecosystem, one that has been extraordinarily successful for them, when you see how they spread throughout the world and increased in numbers beyond that of all other canines or felines, because we make breeding decisions for them. Your decision on whether to breed from your pet should be made on the basis of your pet's and its potential partner's inherited good health and temperament and your ability to ensure caring homes for the resulting litter.

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