If you are among the many dog owners with their dogs nearing or past the age of maturity, you will probably find yourself struggling with the delicate issue of neutering your dog. A look into the pros and cons of neutering your dog is essential in making this decision and understanding the implications and consequences!
It’s important to make an informed decision on whether or not to neuter your pet, and while there are strong arguments on both side of this debate, you must remember to keep your dog’s health and well being above everything else! Here is a list of pros and cons of neutering your dog!
What Is Neutering?
Before we begin, it’s important to explain what neutering your dog would mean. Neutering, also called castrating for male dogs, entails the removal of a dog’s testicles in order to sterilize them and stop them from breeding. Female dogs are spayed, meaning they are sterilized by removing their reproductive organs such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus. This process is often done between the ages of eight weeks to six months, depending on the size and health of your dog, as that is when your dog is growing into sexual maturity.
Pros of Neutering Your Dog
There are many benefits to neutering and spaying your dogs, which is why this process is often recommended by vets and professionals! Here’s why:
- Less unwanted puppies. While puppies are adorable, thousands of unwanted puppies and dogs are sent into kennels on a yearly basis – or even abandoned – due to unsprayed and unneutered dogs breeding. Although it may be tempting to bring more pups into this world, you must keep in mind that dog litters come in large numbers and if you are unable to care for all of the puppies, you may not always find a willing home for them.
- Keeps your dog healthy. There are many health benefits to neutering, which keep your pet healthy and happy, such as reducing the risk of prostate disorders and preventing testicular cancer in male dogs entirely! It also reduces the risks of infections and ovarian tumours which are common in female dogs and can be deadly at times.
- Reduces aggression and unwanted behaviour. Many factors lead to unwanted aggressive behaviour in your dog, and your dog’s hormones as they reach sexual maturity can be a contributing factor! Maturing dogs can become easily irritated and aggressive, especially with other male dogs in order to establish dominance. Neutering would also stop your dog from marking their territory and making a mess of the house.
- Stops your pet from roaming. Of the unwanted behaviours that neutering would eliminate is the animal’s need to roam. Roaming is the process of your pet looking for a mate, exhibited by male dogs, which often forces your pets to stray in their search and can lead to them getting lost. By sparing your pet this need, you are keeping them safe and close by!
- Stops menstruation. When female dogs go into a heat cycle, menstruation bleedings begins to occur around twice a year and can last for three weeks. By spaying your dog, she will no longer enter a heat cycle and thus stop menstruation!
Cons of neutering your dog
While there are many benefits to getting your pet neutered, there are also some drawbacks worth considering before making your decision.
- Risk of obesity. Neutered dogs have a lower metabolism, and therefore their diet should be monitored more strictly as they are more prone to obesity.
- May create hormonal imbalances. After the surgery, your dog’s endocrine system is attempting to adjust to the sudden change in sex hormones. This may lead to increased joint inflammation and weakening tissues as well as over-functioning of their adrenal glands attempting to generate sex hormones.
- May not eliminate all aggressive behaviour. Although neutering can reduce many hormonal factors which lead to aggressive behaviour, it should be mentioned that it may not eliminate aggressive behaviour in your pet entirely, therefore it should not be sought out as a solution of hostile tendencies. Dogs may also begin to show signs of fearfulness, unsociability and even depression.
After informing yourself of the pros and cons of neutering your dog, and with appropriate consultation with your vet, you are ready to decide whether or not to carry through with the procedure! Remember to keep your dog’s well being in mind above anything else and choosing the safest option for them!