At what age can a dog be neutered?
The decision to neuter the pet dog can be difficult considering the many conflicting views surrounding this procedure. Even vets have different opinions on the benefits and the disadvantages of neutering the dog. Moreover, myths regarding neutering have confounded pet owners further. It is believed that growth of a neutered dog is stunted. The dog became lazy thus it develops into a less affectionate and less playful companion. But really…what is neutering and why would an owner subject the dog to this procedure?
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- At what age can a dog be neutered?
Owning a dog can be a simple task. However, making decisions on what is good and bad for them or in other words building a compatible environment is a difficult job.
Neutering or castration is a surgical procedure that involves the total removal of the testes through a small surgical incision. Because this is an irreversible procedure, the dog owner has to be very sure of the decision to neuter the dog. Of course there would be several disadvantages to this surgical procedure. Owners of neutered dogs would attest that their pet have gained weight after undergoing the procedure. An undesirable weight gain could result to health concerns like diabetes, arthritis and heart ailments. Although the risk is very low, infection, internal bleeding and anesthetic risks would still be possible. And let us not forget the cost of the neutering procedure.
The benefits of neutering however would far outweigh the disadvantages. Neutering is noted to deal with behavioral problems of the pet. The territorial behavior of urine marking and aggression are lessened to almost 90%. The roaming tendencies and the sexual behavior like humping are eliminated. Neutered dogs are healthier dogs…healthy dogs are happy dogs. With this procedure, the probability of testicle cancer will be eliminated. Because the hormone level is controlled, the mood swings that make the dog aggressive or moody will be lessened as well. However, the most important reason for neutering is to avoid unwanted breeding. Neutering reduces the number of stray dogs, of adorable puppies that need to be euthanized.
What concern most owners would be the right time to have the dog neutered given that a too early or too late neutering can have adverse effects on the dog. Dog experts tell us that the right time would be before the dog enters puberty. Also the dog should have almost attained skeletal maturity, meaning that the bones are almost fully grown. The right neutering time would vary depending on the breed of the dog. Small breeds are fully grown at about 6 months of age. Larger breeds would take longer to mature thus; neutering can be done when the dog is about 1 year of age. However, neutering can be done earlier is the objective is to address a behavioral concern.
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