The “Safer at Home” period is a great time to get started on your dogs’ health testing.
All dogs should have health testing, as recommended by each breed’s parent club, prior to breeding. And now, while many events are canceled and you might have extra time on your hands, it is the perfect time to get the paperwork done.
Health Tested Parents for Healthier Puppies is the motto of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) www.offa.org. OFA works exclusively with the American Kennel Club (AKC) to record health test results on the OFA website and on AKC pedigrees and registration papers.
OFA has two exciting new tools to make health testing faster and easier for you. You can now fill out and print multiple tests for multiple dogs at one time for each of your dogs!
In addition, the OFA eye examination application, previously known as Companion Eye Registration Foundation (CERF), can be filled out online.
You can complete the online eye form and submit it directly to your veterinarian (if a specialist); a veterinary clinic; or a dog show health clinic. You choose your location; fill out the form, and it will appear in the appropriate veterinarians’ caseload. Or you can print a hard copy of the form, fill it out, file it, and be ready for your next health clinic from the comfort of your own home.
These new online tools will save you handwriting and time. Check it out at https://www.ofa.org/online
Now is a great time to get your health testing paperwork done. It is fast and simple! Go to https://www.akc.org/breeder-programs/akc-bred-with-heart-program/requirements/health-testing-requirements/ to find your breed’s parent club recommended health tests.
More valuable health information for breeders is available on the AKC website: https://www.akc.org/breeder-programs/breeder-education/canine-health/
The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation (AKC CHF) is another great resource for breeders. CHF is dedicated to advancing the health of all dogs and their owners by funding scientific research and supporting the dissemination of health information to prevent, treat, and cure canine disease. https://www.akcchf.org/
Knowing all you can about canine health will allow you to have more ”tools” before your next breeding occurs.
Stacy Mason is a Senior Breeder Field Representative for the American Kennel Club.