If you have an intact male and a female dog and you do not want puppies, or if your dog is around another dog they may be interested in, you might want to consider preventing the two from mating. Female dogs go into heat fairly early in their lives, and male dogs typically have increased testosterone levels giving both of them the natural instinct to mate and procreate. This might be a problem for you if you do not want a litter of puppies around your house.
Mating dogs when you are not ready to for the consequences can be worrisome and potentially expensive if a litter of puppies is the outcome. If you are not ready for the cost of new pups or the commitment to care for a pregnant dog, you might want to take preventive measures to ensure your dog does not mate.
Spay and Neuter
Mating is an instinct for all species. If you have two dogs of the opposite sex around one another, their natural instinct will be to mate. The first and foremost preventive measure of mating is to have your dog spayed or neutered. This is a simple procedure your veterinarian can perform in their office. Some female dogs will go into heat before they can be spayed or some female dogs may go into heat before you can even make your appointment for spaying. In these cases, keep your female dog, who is in heat, away from male dogs. Once your female dog is spayed or your male dog is neutered, unwanted pregnancies will be prevented and their hormone levels will decrease, giving them less interest in the act of mating.
Keep Male and Female Dog Separate
One of the best ways to prevent your dogs from mating is to keep the two dogs separated. However, because your dog is most fertile before you may actually realize she is in heat, you need to work to prevent breeding before you realize your dog is fertile and cycling through her season. If you choose not to spay your female dog, you should keep her away from other dogs you may find at pet stores or dog parks. Keep a close eye on your female dog. Even if she is within the confines of your fenced-in yard, a dog in heat will attract male dogs from far away. A male dog who has yet to be neutered may also need to be kept away from other male dogs as they may be aggressive. But, certainly, keeping your male dog from a female dog who is not spayed will prevent mating.
Buy Products to Deter Male Dogs
There are several products that you can purchase to keep male dogs away from a female dog in heat. Chlorophyll, which is found in plants, masks the smell of heat which will deter male dogs from searching for a female dog in heat. Chlorophyll can be found in health food stores or pet stores in liquid or tablet form. Chlorophyll will only mask the smell of heat, so your male dog will still want to mate as he has that urge naturally. However, if you have a female dog nearby, he may not be attracted to her if she is taking chlorophyll to hide the fact that she is in heat. There are also sprays you can purchase at local pet food stores to deter dogs from mating with one another. Some people put their dogs in dog diapers or britches to keep the two from coming together in mating positions. Though this may work temporarily, it is not a surefire method of keeping your dogs from mating. If you choose to place your dog in britches to keep your dogs separated, be sure they are supervised as it will not take much for a dog to pull off the diaper of another dog.
Benefits of Preventing Mating
Female dogs who have been spayed have less risk of certain cancers and tumors, and they typically live longer than female dogs who have not been spayed. Male dogs who have been neutered tend to be less aggressive and don't typically have the need to roam freely away from home. Keeping your dogs from mating with one another will not only give your dogs a longer and healthier life, but temperaments will be more even-keeled with hormones leveled.
If you do not want puppies, you will need to keep your intact dogs away from other intact dogs to prevent mating. It might take some effort to keep your dogs separate when your female dog is in heat, however, separating male and female dogs is the only surefire way other than spaying and neutering surgery to prevent them from bringing you a litter of puppies.