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The costs of a puppy

Cuccioli Hic Sunt Leones 2020

How is the cost of a puppy calculated?  

It is not calculated: emotionally it is priceless! Economically ... it is not convenient. I stopped counting how much we spend to avoid arguments against me in a possible DIVORCE case!

But let's see why: two good breeders are needed. Let's also make the cheapest (or easiest to calculate) hypothesis that I have the female and the mounts I take it outside.

I paid my breeders from € 1,600 upwards. A mount of a breeder of the same level as I have (for example a Supreme Champion) costs € 1,500.

  My female will not give birth before:

  • be at least one year old

  • having DNA tested for feline HCM  

  • have done at least one echocardiogram for feline HCM

  • have had all the vaccinations and all the boosters

  • having done two tests for FIV and FELV after one / 2 months (for outdoor riding it is essential)

  • have done the blood group test (the male must do it too)

  • having done a coprological examination to verify the absence of intestinal parasites  

  • has been examined thoroughly by the veterinarian and considered in good condition to support a pregnancy.

At this point we begin to integrate the power supply; my cats have always eaten super premium food,  sometimes you have to  bring back the mare by weight  (for some cats, heat is by far the greatest source of stress). So Food Supplements.

The heat comes and the two cats get together. Let's pretend that the first attempt is successful, after 21 days an ultrasound is done to see if there are active gestational chambers, with pulsating hearts (what a thrill!), That is, if the cat is pregnant and everything is fine.

If so, the cat must already have put on weight and continue, then weight it every week to see if to give other dietary supplements or just the super premium Kitten baby food (the most nutritious).

I'm out of luck by avoiding mentioning unpleasant facts that can happen during pregnancy and that require care, just as I don't want to say that they always happen, but you have to be ready for any eventuality, usually wallet in hand.

If everything went smoothly up to here, the countdown begins and delivery is expected between the 65th and 70th day from the last mating. So towards the 60th you go back to the vet to make a slab to count how many heads, how many backbones ... it is not just the curiosity of those who have been waiting for two months, because knowing as accurately as possible how many puppies are to be born is essential to post-partum.

Childbirth usually takes place at home, often at night. There are those who prepare themselves with a nursery and a heating pad, who a basket, who knows very well that his cat will find the place to give birth by herself against all our attempts to divert her attention.

The most astute breeders have everything they need, the most experienced ones know what to do, resuscitation techniques, aspiration of the liquid from the noses in case they find it difficult to breathe ... in short, we try to make all the kittens born alive survive.

If the plates showed a number of puppies higher than those that came out naturally, the veterinarian must be notified immediately: it can happen that kittens that have died in utero have not turned to the pro-birth position and that the mother is unable to expel them. For this reason, it is essential to know how many puppies are in the womb: a dead puppy without birth brings complications, with the consequent risk of death for all the others if they are not bottle-fed or if we are not able to do so. At that point it is necessary to intervene surgically, to find a staff capable of successfully carrying out a Caesarean birth.

As soon as they are born, they check that the mother knows what to do: it may happen that she is too young and does nothing, so she must be helped in everything, or that she has a fantastic instinct and does not even want to be helped. In any case, the young must all be weighed at birth and identified, in order to check that growth is constant and regular at least up to two weeks after weaning, for the most fussy ones until the second vaccination.  

For the whole time of breastfeeding, the mother will have to eat kitten or queen food, there are even those who give the Recovery or the Booster ... based on how many kittens are born.  The more numerous the litter is, the more the mother must be supported with nutrition.

If by chance you were to realize that the kittens grow little, it can be assumed, in the absence of other symptoms, that the mother has little milk and then you have to add artificial milk. This is very demanding because it is not easy for all puppies in the same way to learn to eat from the nipple of the bottle, from the syringe or any other tool you decide to use. It can become a quick and practical operation or a worry of mind that haunts us.

In any case, small gastro-enteritis or small eyes that close are frequent, you must be ready to intervene with natural astringents and eye drops. If that doesn't go away, a call to the vet for advice on an appropriate antibiotic is a must.

After about a month, weaning begins, both with treats and with moist baby food. After a couple of weeks of solid feeding, you can start offering raw food.

Around 40/50 days the first deworming is done, or a paste or a pill is administered (it can be bought at the pharmacy and must be strictly prescribed by the veterinarian), a week later the first vaccine is made. We on the advice of Bruno and Stefania do the pentavalent without Felv,  and first we are careful that the kittens are in perfect health, if in doubt we postpone it for a week. A month later it replicates with deworming and vaccine booster.

And so far only external interventions: the "current" expenditure begins to be evident from weaning onwards ... one thinks he has stocked up on baby food at home ... but every moment is good for the puppies to come and ask for baby food !!! We who make a few litters, between one and the other we forget how much those little ones eat. We are obviously delighted with their ferocious appetite, but it puts us in anguish a little, every morning before leaving the house we check the level of stocks ... and we run for cover. You can easily get a box of 80 g per puppy 5 times a day ...  

Obviously the little ones eat only super premium kitten, seared chicken and raw quail, no cow's milk, if anything it integrates with Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana and Tigre cheese (they are the ones with the highest calcium content). Ok, now you laugh and you make fun of me but stop and think for a moment: at birth the males weigh from 110 gr to 150 gr and the females from 90 gr to 140 gr ... three months later they are all over 1.8  kg, someone is close to 3 kg ... a year later the males will be between 7 and 9 kg  kg and females between 4.5 kg and 6.5 kg. To put on this great mass of bone, muscle, nerve, this silky hair and the athletic physique we expect of them ... they have to eat good stuff, there is no way out.

Let's make sure that the vet comes home three times, in fact the veterinary surgeries are a receptacle for pathogens in which it is good not to bring the puppies and if you can even the mother: she comes just after the birth to visit mothers and babies, for the first time. and the second vaccination.

But let's go back to the starting point: let's calculate the cost of a puppy. Will it depend on the number of puppies? Certainly the more they are, the more I spread the expenses. Will it depend on my luck? Of course, if I have to do a caesarean because my mother can't do it naturally (it has already happened several  times) the expenses grow a lot and so does the personal commitment.  

You who have commendably read me so far, have you made an account? I haven't put in many figures but have you more or less got an idea? Yup?  

Lucky you!!! Because regardless of what the cost of a puppy is, the market price does.

Rightly, I say, because you cannot ask everyone to take on the bad luck, if any, of the breeder. Unjustly because those who do things in a workmanlike manner, on the market are confronted with those who with very few scruples do not care about all the attention described above, save on everything and in the end come up with prices that are not justifiable, if not by cutting many of the essential expense items we mentioned earlier! Beware of puppies that cost less than € 900!

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