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Do I really need to have my dog spayed or neutered?

Updated on February 18, 2012

Most dog owners cannot decide whether to have the dog spayed or neutered. It is commonly believed that these invasive surgical procedures are preventing the natural right of dogs to reproduce. Also let’s face it. These surgical procedures do not come free and the cost can be an additional financial burden especially for a dog owner on a tight budget.  A dog owner can choose not to spay or neuter if there are plans of breeding the pets. The decision to breed the dog comes with other considerations. Do you have the capability to take care of all the puppies? Or have you found potential homes for the litter. If your answer to these questions is NO wouldn’t you think it would be best to have the dog spayed or neutered?

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Dog overpopulation

The increasing number of homeless dogs that have to be euthanized every year is a current national concern. We are a race of dog lovers but unfortunately, the number of dogs far exceeds the number of people willing to take one for a pet. You may have a lot of friends and “disposing” the litter is not a problem but are you aware that you are depriving dogs from a shelter the chance to adopted?

Health benefits

Neutering and spaying is helping dogs live happier, healthier and longer lives. Spaying a female dog before the first heat cycle reduces the development of mammary and uterine cancers. Pyometra, is an infection of the uterus that can result to the death of the pet can also be prevented by spaying. Male dogs get health benefits from the surgical procedure of removing the testicles as well. Prostate problems are less common in neutered dogs. Testicular cancer is prevented as well.

Behavioral benefits

Hormone induced mood swings are common in intact bitches. Owners of dogs in heat would have to contend with the mess resulting from the dog’s vaginal bleeding that normally lasts from 4 to 13 days. These concerns can be eliminated if the dog is spayed. Neutering would eliminate a dog’s undesirable behavior of humping, territorial marking, inclination to roam and aggression. This dominance related activities are influenced to a great extent by testosterone. When the dog is neutered the testicles are removed so that the production of testosterone is significantly decreased. Neutered dogs are less likely to fight other dogs. Neutered dogs are calmer and less likely to defy their masters.

Disadvantages of spaying and neutering

These procedures are irreversible. Once the dog is spayed or neutered the ability to reproduce is eliminated. Urinary incontinence is noted in some spayed dog. Spayed and neutered dogs have the tendency to be overweight but this can be controlled with careful diet monitoring.

Spaying or Neutering Your Dog

Dr. Greg demo: Neutering part 1

Dr. Greg demo: Neutering part 2


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    • Cat R profile image

      Cat R 6 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.

      I can think of 9 million reasons to spay/neuter! Cesar Millan even reported more than that!

      And that number is for one year alone!