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Neutering Your Dog

Updated on April 18, 2012

When there is no real need to breed your dog—because he is not a show breed, or you simply do not want to have puppies around the house—it is a good idea to have your dog spayed or neutered. But did you know that fixing your dog can also be great for his health and longevity?

What Does it Mean to Neuter a Dog

Neutering and Spaying involves the removal of the dog's sex glands. The testicles get removed in males, the ovaries and usually part of the uterus in females.

Speak softly when discussing "neutering your dog" I think they have some kind of genetic memory about this word!
Speak softly when discussing "neutering your dog" I think they have some kind of genetic memory about this word! | Source

Are There benefits to Neutering a Male Dog

Temperament in Neutered Male Dogs

When you neuter a male, you are reducing the production of testosterone. Low testosterone in the system helps to reduce the straying nature of male dogs. Another helpful reason to neuter your dog is that it helps prevent (or reduce) inappropriate sexual, aggressiveness, and dominant behaviors.

Prostate Cancer in Intact1 Male Dogs

Prostate cancer is a serious problem with old intact male dogs (those that have not been castrated). Testicular tumors are another condition that is prone to occur in old male dogs that haven't been neutered. This can obviously be prevented by castration early in life. Young male dogs that have undescended2 testicle(s) are also prone to developing tumors. In the case of these young dogs, neutering is highly recommended. Getting young males castrated early is very important to the prolonged health of those that have testicles which are NOT dropped before six to nine months of age.

1Dogs that have not been neutered and still have their reproductive organs are called "intact" dogs.

2 Undescended testicles are those that remain inside the body and do not drop or "descend" into the testicle sack.

Can I Chemically Neuter or Spay My Dog

Not very common in the U.S., a temporary neutering can be done using medications that inhibit testosterone in the male. These chemicals can reduce the libido and help treat prostate concerns. Medicines can be used to suppress or delay oestus (ovulation) in female dogs.

Are There benefits to Neutering a Female (Bitch) Dog

Monthly Estrogen Surge in intact Female Dogs

With our female canines, we find a greater number of health reasons for spaying—meaning the neutering of females within the species. Every monthly season (estrus) a female dog experiences an intense explosion of hormones that increase the chance of developing breast cancer in later years. If spayed before her first season, she has a very small chance of tumor growth in her mammary tissues, (¼ of intact female dogs will develop mammary masses in maturity).

Unspayed Female Dogs and Health Concerns

Pyometra In Female Dogs - An older unspayed bitch is prone to pyometra—an unpleasant uterine infection that can make it necessary to have emergency surgery for the removal of the infected uterus. Having your dog spayed takes care of you ever having to worry about this happening to your canine companion.

Diabetes and Epilepsy in Spayed Dogs - Other concerns with unspayed females has to do with diabetic and epileptic dogs. It seems that under these conditions, neutered females do much better than their fertile counterparts. Dogs who suffer with these disorders have far less problems surrounding their health when they have been spayed early in life.

Incontinence in Spayed Female Dogs - Spayed female dogs have been known to suffer more incontinence later in life, but this is not a common problem and is quite treatable when it does occur.

What you Think Really Does Matter!

Do you get your dogs spayed and neautered?

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When Should I Spay or Neuter My Dog

When To Neuter Male Dogs

Once you have decided to neuter your male dog, timing is not as vital as it is with female canines. As long as your boy dog has reached six to nine months of age (and even later) it is safe to castrate him.

When to Spay Female Dogs

With neutering your female canine, timing is quite important. The female has a much greater blood supply to her uterus during her season than she does between cycles. Making it much safer to spay her between the cycles. Because of this concern, female dogs are generally spayed three months after their first season. This will make the operation less difficult for your veterinarian, and as safe as possible for your dog.

How much do you know about dogs?

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After Neutering or Spaying Your Dog

Post-surgical Care for Neutered Dogs

Anesthesia - Because anesthesia can make it difficult for a dog to regulate its temperature, the evening following surgery it is important to provide a warm comfortable place to recover. Anesthesia can also make your dog unsteady on his/her feet, even wobbly, so monitoring movement is also important.

Eating - Your dog may feel queasy and not be very interested in eating, vomiting may even occur. Only offer small, bland food (like white rice and boiled chicken) that is easily digested. No Large Meals of Any Kind!

Incision Care - Dogs have a built-in desire to lick anything that hurts, and the wounds created during neutering are no exception. You will need to keep an eye on your dog to prevent him from licking his wounds. The vet can give you a cone-collar (an Elizabethan collar) to help you control this habit.

Sutures and Restrictions - Dogs that have sutures (stitches) need plenty of rest and should be kept calm until the incision wound heals and the stitches are removed. Be sure to ask your veterinarian how much rest is needed for your particular dog, it may vary from breed to breed. As a general rule, your dog should be restricted to one or two short (5 minute) on-leash walks daily. DO NOT allow off-leash exercise until your vet gives the okay.

Top 5 Countries Having the Largest Population of Dogs

(click column header to sort results)
United States of America
Between 61 and 62 million
Between 30 and 31 million
Between 22 and 23 million
Between 9 and 10 million
Between 9 and 10 million
Information derived from ASPCA

US state with the Largest Dog Population - California

Southern callifornia:
California, USA

get directions

Southern California has the largest dog (pet) population in the USA. It also has the largest number of stays. Another good reason to neuter your pets!

orange county:
Orange, CA, USA

get directions

Comments for "Neutering Your Dog"

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  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    6 years ago from Northern, California

    Pamela99~ Me too. Unless I am breeding a line for a specific attribute or charater quality, I have spayed or neutered my dogs. For me, it just feels like the responasible choice. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your remarks! I alaways enjoy finding you in the comments section!


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    6 years ago from Northern, California

    Seeker7~ Thanks for adding your input to the topic of neutering our dogs. You make a perfect point when speaking of your Rough Collie's personality shift and health concerns. I am so glad you shared your story, it may help to easy this decision for someone! I appreciate that made it by today.


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    6 years ago from Northern, California

    Rufus~ I put the health benefits as the number one reason to neuter, and next has to be the control of the stray populations. It just breaks my heart to see the pain, starving, and neglect that these creature endure because we fail to spay and neuter accordingly. I can appreciate the sensitive nature of fixing a dog, but at this point in time, it may be our best and most humane approach.

    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on the topic!


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    6 years ago from Northern, California

    GORDON!! --Hugs-- right out of the gate! My cousin feels the very same way about neutering his male dogs, "Hardly seems fair" would be his response to the topic. He finally came to the thought that if he allowed his male dogs to have one "go" at a female he could live with the fact that neutering was the best idea. He is such an advocate for the male of any species.--I just adore him--

    I think with the stray population, and the health benefits it is the best solution for now. It is always wonderful to see you have made it by for a chat!

    Super HubHugs~

  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    6 years ago from Northern, California

    fpherj48~ I too believe that neutering our pets is the best thing. Breeders are in place (the good ones anyway)to maintain the traditions and qualities of their breed, and for this reason perpetuation of the line is paramount. For the rest of the pet loving world, spay and neuter your fuzzy friends!

    Thank you for sharing your comments here!


  • K9keystrokes profile imageAUTHOR

    India Arnold 

    6 years ago from Northern, California

    vickiturner~ I can absolutely agree that the mongrel has some wonderful attributes in sustaining the health and intellect of the canine species. And, I also agree that very few, if any, breeders are going to breed lines of mongrels that have no great monetary value, or can't improve their chosen breed's quality. Where I detour from this thought process is in the current number of stray mongrels that are suffering without homes, health care, and good food. This number remains in the millions. Should the plight of the stray mongrel subside, I would be willing to stand next to you on a protest line while carrying a "save the mongrel" sign! For me, I just don't think we are there yet.

    I appreciate your fantastic rebuttal perspective on the topic of neutering our pets. I have respect for your view, and understand your cause.


  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    I have always spayed or neutered my dogs and cats for that matter. I did not know the importance in preventing cancer though. Excellent, informative hub.

  • Seeker7 profile image

    Helen Murphy Howell 

    6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

    Very interesting and useful hub.

    I had to have one of my dogs neutered - this was many years ago now - due to a swelling in his prostate which can be quite dangerous. Shane, was a Rough Collie and he was very difficult to handle when he was ill. The poor dog had huge amounts of testosterone going through his system. He found it difficult to rest or sleep and was very aggressive. As soon as the operation was carried out, within no more than 2 days, the change was miraculous. I had my fun-loving, cheeky, lovable Rough Collie back!! So for any owners not sure about neutering/spaying it is worthwhile as I've had all my dogs/bitches neutered since that time with no ill effects but lots of benefits!

    Great hub + voted up!

  • vickiturner profile image


    6 years ago

    Not only is this procedure cruel (would you opt on your own body for something that removed your ability to produce testosterone/estrogen?), making male dogs perpetual puppies and female dogs fat - it also puts the sole responsibility on breeders to reproduce dogs. What do we then get? that's right, more pedigrees. Pedigrees have an increasingly weakening genetic diversity - and that doesn't bode well for the future of the dog world.

    We need more mongrels! Breeders rarely breed mongrels because the monetary returns are not nearly so profitable. We need to encourage more pet owners to breed their dogs with other breeds of dog whilst recommending future dog owners to have the offspring, rather than going to the breeders for yet another pedigree.

    Mongrels are fitter and often more intelligent than pedigrees due to their genetic diversity. Spaying is killing the mongrel!

  • Rufus rambles profile image

    Rufus rambles 

    6 years ago from Australia

    In Australia almost all pets are neutered. It is not seen as barbaric or cruel. It surprised me on some hubs I've read that different countries have very different attitudes to it and see it as unnecessary and cruel. I felt sorry for my dogs when I desexed them at the vet and wrote a story from the perspective of my female dog Amber on my hub. I think having less unwanted puppies is the most compelling reason to neuter - and the health benefits you mentioned are also very worthwhile.

  • fpherj48 profile image


    6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    I've always believed, unless you are a Breeder, all pets (dogs/cats), should be spayed or neutered, as soon as they are of age. I believe this is Vet-recommended as well.

    I scored 100 on your test...but it was too easy... UP++

  • Gordon Hamilton profile image

    Gordon Hamilton 

    6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

    Fabulous information and explanation, K9. I know for a fact a lot of dog owners are extremely confused and undecided about this subject and a lot of non-dog owners are very critical, as I'm sure you will well know.

    All my dogs - bitches and dogs - have been "doctored" at the earliest appropriate time, based on professional veterinary advice. I remember once, many years ago, telling a friend I was taking the dog the next day to be "done" and he exploded at me, asking how I would have liked it at an equivalent young age! (Fair point!) :)

    I can of course see both sides of this argument but agree with you completely that where a dog (of either sex) is to be a much loved, adored and cared for family pet, what may seem like extreme measures of this type are essential for long term benefit and quality of life, both for dog and dog owner.

    Great Hub!



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