Being a pet owner, there comes a time when you are faced with a very important question – whether or not to spay/neuter your dog? You need to consider the positive and negative aspects of spaying and neutering before making your decision.
In simple language, spaying is the surgical removal of a female animal’s reproductive organs so she cannot become pregnant and neutering is the surgical removal of a male animal’s testicles so that he cannot impregnate a female. Neutering is often also used in reference to both genders.
Determining the appropriate age to neuter/spay your dog is also crucial and hence you should consult your veterinarian who can advice you based on your dog’s breed and other factors.
In order to help you choose if or not you should get your dog spayed or neutered, we have put down a list of basic pros and cons that can help you think through your decision.
- Provides major health benefits for your dog: Neutered males have lesser prostate problems and reduced chances of testicular cancer. Spaying your female pet before her first heat cycle greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors and prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer.
- Positive behavioural changes: Neutered dogs are calmer and if neutered when young, are less likely to develop aggression and thus easier to handle. It also prevents undesirable sexual behaviours, such as urine marking and humping.
- Easy Care: Spaying also eliminates the messiness that is resultant of your female dog’s heat cycle.
- No reproduction: This is one of the main reasons you get your dog spayed/ neutered but you need to remember that the procedure is permanent, once castrated; he will no longer be able to reproduce.
- Obesity: Spaying or neutering the dog at a young age does not generally affect the weight. However, once the dog has reached sexual maturity and then undergoes surgery, there is a chance of weight gain due to hormonal changes.
- Reduced/lessened activity: The hormonal changes results in the dog getting calmer which could at times result in less activity. However, it is a problem that can be dealt with and neutered dogs can be as energetic and lively.
Busting a few myths:
- Neutering/ Spaying is expensive: You need to consult a good vet and you can surely get affordable and good options.
- Neutering/Spaying deprives the dogs of having puppies: Dogs do not think like humans when it comes to reproduction, they reproduce solely for survival of their species and hence will not feel deprived.