A pandemic boom in canine fertility clinics has experts raising welfare concerns

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The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen dog adoption rates rise sharply. Now, a new study on the boom in dog fertility clinics has experts raising animal welfare concerns.

A key part of the response to the growing number of canine fertility clinics is a call for industry oversight.

Dog clinics can, in some cases, be used to monitor breeding standards and practices. But there are concerns that these new clinics focus too much on puppies with flat faces like French bulldogs.

Talk with the The Guardian, Dr Justine Shotton, president of the British Veterinary Association, noted the increase in the number of fertility clinics for dogs. Shotton explained a key problem with many of them:

“Because of the huge prices that some of these puppies are fetching, there’s a financial incentive for clinics to exist and do this kind of work.”

The Problems of Unregulated Canine Fertility Clinics

As Shotton mentioned, there is a risk that dog fertility clinics will prioritize financial profit over the welfare of their animals.

This is especially true when clinics focus on flat-faced dogs like pugs and French bulldogs. These are two breeds that are often more susceptible to developing medical conditions than other breeds.

In fact, UK vets recently called on people to stop buying English Bulldogs for this reason. They develop serious health problems, but breeders continue to breed unhealthy dogs for their appearance and the benefits they can bring.

Back in July 2020, BMJ (British Medical Journal) published a similar report which found that many canine fertility clinics were not properly staffed with qualified veterinarians.

Main reasons to adopt, do not buy!

Shelter for homeless dogs, waiting for a new owner

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Canine fertility clinics may be on the rise, but it’s always best to adopt and not shop around when looking to add a dog to your household.

Some of the crucial reasons adoption is always better than buying a dog include:

  • Buying a dog can help encourage the odious puppy mill industry.
  • Adopting a dog saves a life!
  • Dogs adopted from shelters generally have a good health record. They probably received their vaccinations, their sterilization procedure, their microchipping and their veterinary treatment. It can also save you money on immediate vet bills.
  • Rescue puppies can form stronger bonds with the pet parents in their lives because they know what it’s like to be without a home and they know who saved them from that life.

What do you think of the increase in fertility clinics for dogs? Would you rather rely on adopting from a shelter than buying from a clinic? Let us know in the comments below.