Record Keeping for Dog Breeders

 Monday Feb 27,2023
By  Lancaster Puppies

Keeping records related to dog breeding is important for ethical breeding, filing taxes, and documenting health history. Finding the best record-keeping process that works for you will keep your business running smoothly and help you stay organized with past and current litters. There are many options available for record-keeping, both online and offline. You can create your own record sheets or buy them online from places like EtsyChewy, and Amazon. You’ll definitely thank yourself for keeping each litter’s documentation organized once tax season rolls around!

Pregnancy Records

Corgi sitting by laptop on bed and smiling.

Record keeping for a litter begins when you start planning to breed a sire and dam. Start off with obtaining available records on the sire and dam being used so information about the parent dogs is on hand. You can pass some of this information along to puppy buyers, such as the sire and dam’s breed(s), club registration (if any), ages, names, and any other information you feel would be beneficial to add.

Pregnancy information regarding each litter should include:

  • When breeding took place

  • Pregnancy start date (determined by a veterinarian)

  • Expected due date

  • The date puppies were actually born

  • Number of puppies in the litter

As we’ll discuss later, any vet visits during the pregnancy should be recorded and kept. These records should include the dam’s name, the date, what the appointment was for, and the amount paid.

Puppy Identification Records

Puppy identification records should be filled out soon after the puppies are born. These sheets are used to identify each puppy in the litter and won’t need additional information added as the puppies grow.

You should include the following information for each puppy in a litter:

  • Name or color ID

  • The day and time it was born

  • Gender

  • Coat color and markings

  • Weight at birth

If you use color-coded puppy ID collars, be sure to add each puppy’s color ID to the identification sheet even if you give the puppies names.

Litter Records

It’s good to make notes of each puppy’s temperament and behavior. For example, some puppies are quiet and stand-offish while others may be domineering and hyperactive. These records are good for identifying puppies and helping families choose a puppy with an ideal temperament. However, this information is also good for determining changes in a puppy’s behavior that could indicate sickness.

You may also find it helpful to keep track of what food and treats the litter has been given during their time living with you. You can pass this information along to buyers and let them know what the puppies are used to as well as what they like and dislike.

Health Records


Woman on couch works on laptop while holding small dog.

Keeping health records for each litter and dam is a must. Having these records on hand will be useful to vets, buyers, and yourself. You will need to track each puppy’s weight on a daily basis for the first 12 days after birth. Once you reach the 12-day mark, you’ll switch to weekly weight tracking. A decrease or no change in weight are both signs that something might be wrong. Keeping records of each puppy’s weight in a litter will help you detect health issues early on. Plus, you can see when the changes in weight started which is valuable information when a dog is sick.

The following records should be included if applicable:

  • Vaccinations (Rabies, Parvovirus, Distemper, etc)

  • Surgeries (Spay, Neuter, etc)

  • Deworming

  • Microchip information

  • Health check-ups

Similarly, any time the dam or puppies are given medication or supplements, keep track of what was given, how much was given, and the date and time it was administered.

Tax Records

For tax reasons you’ll want to keep track of every purchase and sale you make. If you add a lot of deductions to your taxes, you can trigger an audit where you’ll need to be able to prove that everything you included is legitimate. In order to add necessary dog expenses as tax write-offs, like ID collars, dog supplies, whelping boxes, and other essential items, you need to keep receipts in your records.

You also need to keep track of every sale you make. When you sell a puppy you should document the following information:

  • Date sold

  • Puppy’s name

  • Buyer’s name

  • Buyer’s contact information

  • Your name

  • Amount sold for

Likewise, if you are delivering a puppy to someone or traveling for a puppy introduction, keep track of how many miles you drove and any gas receipts from along the way.

Start listing your litters for sale on Lancaster Puppies to connect with families looking for puppies across the US. For more articles about dog breeding, browse Lancaster Puppies’ blog to discover new posts every month.