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Dog Mismating: Everything You Need to Know!

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

July 2, 2021

Dogs are fun, intelligent creatures that many people enjoy spending their lives with. However, overbreeding and mismating can result in unwanted animals that end up suffering. Many unwanted dogs face terrible fates, including death. Luckily, we humans have a great deal of control over how many dogs exist in the world at any given time. Knowing about dog mismating is the first step that we can take toward gaining the knowledge and empowerment that we need to ensure that we do not bring dogs into this world that will not be loved and properly cared for.

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What Is Dog Mismating?

In short, dog mismating is when a female dog gets pregnant when it is not planned by her owners in any way. Female dogs go into heat two times a year, about 6 months apart. This offers plenty of opportunities for them to get pregnant if they are not spayed and can mingle with unneutered males. Mismating results in unplanned and/or unwanted pregnancies and stressed human family members who do not know what to do with the puppies that their dog has unknowingly conceived.

It is also considered mismating when two breeds mate and the resulting puppies have deformities or genetic health problems. In cases like this, it is generally not known that the breeding resulted in mismating until the babies are well developed in the uterus and sometimes not until after the puppies are born.

pregnant Dogue de Bordeaux
Image Credit: Jan Dix, Shutterstock

What Can Be Done About Mismating

Mismating can be completely avoided by having dogs spayed or neutered. If you plan to mate your dog in the future or spaying or neutering is not an option, it is vital to make sure that your pooch is constantly supervised when outside of their kennel or home and where they have access to other non-spayed or unneutered dogs.

If you own a female dog, make sure you know when her heat cycle starts and ends so she can be quarantined in your home throughout the cycle unless mating is planned. If you are unsure of when your bitch goes into heat, it is a good idea to always keep her away from all male dogs unless you want to breed them.

If you own both a male and female that are unneutered and not spayed, we recommend that you find alternative living arrangements for the male throughout the entirety of your female’s heat cycle. The male can be reintroduced to the home after the heat cycle ends. If necessary, reintroduce the male and female slowly in the yard until they are comfortable around each other again.

Beagle on estrus cycle
Image Credit: Sigma_S, Shutterstock

What to Do If Mismating Occurs

You may not know if mismating happens until after your dog’s puppies are born, in which case, it is too late to do anything about it. You can do your best to care for the puppies and give them the best life possible, but you obviously cannot take the pregnancy back. There are many programs out there that can help handle genetic health conditions and deformities so your puppies can have the best lives possible.

If you find out that your dog is pregnant when you do not want her to be, there are a couple of things that you can do about it. First, you can try to find a person or organization that is willing to take the puppies in and make sure that they get good homes. If this is not a possibility, you can work with your veterinarian to administer a mismate injection or another form of “morning after” treatment that will inhibit the pregnant dog’s body from being able to maintain the pregnancy.

See also: The Consequences of Dog Inbreeding: Problems & Risks

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Final Comments

Dog mismating should not be taken lightly. It can lead to an overwhelming number of unwanted dogs in your community that can take a toll on the dogs and the humans who live around them. Hopefully, our guide has shed a bit of light on the topic and given you the knowledge and ideas needed to keep your dog from mating with another dog when you do not want them to.


Featured Image Credit: atiger, Shutterstock

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.

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