Dam (Canis familiaris) Welfare Throughout the Peri-Parturient Period in Commercial Breeding Kennels – CRONEY RESEARCH GROUP

Scientific Journal Articles

Welfare problems experienced during gestation and lactation may negatively affect dams and their puppies. However, the welfare states of dams in commercial breeding (CB) kennels during this period have not been well examined. Therefore, we examined a range of behavioral, physical, and physiological metrics throughout the period around parturition to identify if changes indicative of impaired welfare were present. We tested 74 dams from eight CB kennels at 6 and 1 week prepartum, and 4 and 8 weeks postpartum. At each time point we measured their responses to a stranger approaching, their physical health, and indicators of their stress response, immune function, and parasite burden. Findings did not reveal major changes in dam welfare. Most changes observed were likely because of natural biological changes resulting from pregnancy, lactation, and weaning. However, as some changes in metrics deviated from what was expected and there were changes in environmental and management factors during this time, future research should identify how they affect dam welfare.

Romaniuk, A. C., Barnard, S., Weller, J. E., Weng, H. Y., Dangoudoubiyam, S., & Croney, C. (2022). Dam (Canis familiaris) Welfare throughout the Peri-Parturient Period in Commercial Breeding Kennels. Animals, 12(20), 2820.

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Topic(s): Behavior, Breeder Resource, Prenatal Stress, Puppy Development