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Kennel Club Offers Advice On Attending Shows With Pregnant Bitches

29 July 2014    14:00
 

Following discussion with the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), the Kennel Club would like to offer the following advice to dog exhibitors and competitors at other activities, who are intending to take bitches that are in whelp to Kennel Club events.

The Kennel Club and BSAVA do not believe that it is in the best interests of a pregnant bitch to be travelling unnecessarily, later than 49 days (seven weeks) after mating. Therefore no pregnant bitch should be taken to a Kennel Club event after this time.

However, dog owners should also be aware that there are potential health risks associated with taking in whelp bitches to events where other dogs are present, even before the 49th day following mating. Owners are advised to discuss the risks with their veterinary surgeon.

Furthermore, pregnant bitches should not compete in strenuous activities such as agility and flyball, and although the Kennel Club appreciates that pregnancy in dogs cannot usually be reliably confirmed until around four weeks after mating, anybody who has deliberately mated a bitch should consider the welfare of their bitch and her potential litter once a mating has taken place.

Professor Steve Dean, Chairman of the Kennel Club said: "As a veterinary surgeon myself, I regard it as vital that the Kennel Club continues to work proactively with the veterinary profession and dog breeders to improve the health and welfare of dogs. The advice about travelling with bitches during the last two weeks of pregnancy is simply common sense and can hardly be disagreed with. However, any bitch that could be pregnant deserves special consideration and we hope dog breeders will take note of the advice to take sensible precautions to ensure a carefully planned pregnancy has every chance of being successful.  This advice has come about following constructive discussion with the BSAVA and we look forward to furthering this relationship in the future."

Penny Watson, Honorary Secretary of the BSAVA said: "The BSAVA is pleased to be working closely with the Kennel Club on important issues concerning canine health and welfare. We sincerely hope that dog owners heed this advice to ensure the welfare of pregnant bitches and the health of their unborn pups. A detailed document containing the evidence and references behind this advice can be found on the BSAVA web site at: https://www.bsava.com/Portals/4/knowledgevault/resources/files/Resources_Showing_pregnant_bitches.pdf."

ENDS


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