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Home > Dogs > New title: What Is Dog Mismating? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Tips

New title: What Is Dog Mismating? Vet-Reviewed Facts & Tips

dog sniffing dog in heat

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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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 homeless and 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. In short, dog mismating is when a female dog gets pregnant by accident.

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What Is Dog Mismating?

In short, dog mismating is when a female dog gets pregnant accidentally, when it is not planned in any way. Female dogs generally 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. 

Mismating is also the term to call termination of pregnancy or abortion. This should be discussed with your vet on a case-by-case basis. Not all dog encounters will result in mating, and not all mating will result in pregnancies. 

Note: The intention of this post is to provide general medical information and not moral guidance. Any decisions you make should be discussed and overseen by your veterinarian. Your vet knows your family’s unique circumstances and can provide individualized recommendations for the best possible outcome.

pregnant Dogue de Bordeaux
Image By: Jan Dix, Shutterstock

What Can Be Done About Mismating?

Mismating can be completely avoided by having dogs spayed or neutered. If you plan to breed 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 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 walked on a leash and avoid busy places and times throughout the cycle. If you are unsure of when your bitch goes into heat, you should speak to your vet to clarify what are the signs of being in heat; and if your dog does not show them, to know what the reason behind it is. If you own both a male and female that are intact, 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 By: Sigma_S, Shutterstock

What to Do if Mismating Occurs

You may not know if mismating occurred until after your dog is heavily pregnant or even until 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.

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 should speak to your veterinarian to go through your options for termination of pregnancy. Alternatively, 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. 

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In Summary

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

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