Are you wondering if you should neuter or spay your dog? There are many benefits of neutering or spaying your dog, which includes declining the overpopulation of homeless pets, overall health benefits, and unwanted behaviors.
So, what is neutering or spaying your dog? Neutering is the procedure of removing the testicles and any other reproduction organs. This is primarily done on male dogs. Spaying is the procedure of removing the ovaries and any other reproduction organs. This is primarily done on female dogs
This week for Q&A with Dr. Quest, we discuss the benefits of neutering or spaying your dog.
Should dogs be neutered or spayed?
Yes. If a dog is not intended for breeding purposes then spaying or neutering is recommended by Veterinarians.
What are some of the benefits of neutering or spaying your dog?
Medical benefits of spaying/neutering include lower risk of certain types of cancer such as mammary, ovarian and uterine in females. Lower risk of testicular cancer and prostate problems in males.
Female dogs will not come into heat when spayed and male dogs will not have the urge to seek out females that are in heat. This will decrease the chances for your dog to have the urge to run off a potentially get lost or injured.
There are behavior benefits to spaying and neutering as well. Male dogs will be less inclined to urinate on objects to mark their territory and neutering may also help with aggression in some dogs as well when they are neutered.
Spaying and neutering will also help control the pet population helping to curb stray or homeless pets and this is important for animal welfare and disease control reasons.
Most of the time in the long run spaying and neutering will actually save a pet parent money because there is a lot of expense and time involved with raising a litter of puppies and then having to adopt them out. Also, when male dogs seek females in heat they are more likely to get in dog fights and potentially get injured which will require Veterinary attention.
When is a good age to neuter or spay your dog?
Typically, it is good to spay and neuter a dog at about 6 months of age. But it is acceptable when dogs are adopted out by animal shelters to have them spayed or neutered at younger ages. The reason for this is that ethically it is important for animal shelters to ensure that animals they adopt out will not add to the unwanted pet population.
Does my dog’s behavior change after neutering/ spaying?
Veterinarians typically agree that spaying or neutering a dog is a good idea especially if you are not intending them for breeding. One of the big advantages of spaying/neutering your pet can be behavior benefits.
Male dogs that are neutered will not have the urge to escape from the home or yard to seek out female dogs in heat. This is beneficial because they will be less likely to get lost, get into dog fights or possibly get hit by a car when loose. When female dogs are spayed they will not come into heat. Typically, most dogs have two heat cycles a year. As hormone levels fluctuate during the heat cycle an intact female dog can exhibit irritable behavior such as restlessness and whining. Some female dogs can even be aggressive during their heat cycle. When in heat female dogs can “spot” blood that is undesirable as well in the home. They may also urinate more frequently in areas such as inside the house. Spaying can help curb female dogs’ desire to roam seeking out male dogs and also help keep male dogs from coming around your house seeking your female dog in heat.