GUN DOGS

Neil McIntosh

I am afraid I tend to cause arguments rather than settle them…

I can completely understand why, in the wild, it would be sensible for canine mothers to follow their instinct and eat the afterbirth.

This serves the joint purpose of utilising all available sources of nutrition while destroying any evidence that there are youngsters about, thus putting predators off the scent.

In a domestic situation, however, when proper balanced food is freely available, I think that this practice has the potential to cause tummy upsets, vomiting, a risk of choking and potential damage to pups as inexperienced mothers chew at the stringy placenta.

Additionally, I prefer it when breeders count and remove afterbirths so that we know if any remain inside the bitch.

There is a lot to be said for ‘getting back to nature’ but not, in my view, in this case.