Neutering my Dog--Is it really Necessary?
The decision whether or not to neuter your dog is not an easy one. Unfortunately, there are almost as many differing views concerning this subject, as there are spots on a Dalmatian. But, once you have finished reading the following 4 Questions and Answers the decision making process should become a lot easier.
The 1st question--What is neutering?
To put it bluntly--Castration. Which involves a general anasthesia, then through an incision between the penis and scrotum the dog's testicles are completely removed. This procedure is irreversible.
And after the procedure? Virtually no exercise for a few days. No excitement, and plenty of Tender Loving Care--after all he's lost something very dear to him!
The 2nd question--What are the benefits of neutering my dog?
- The very reduced risk of prostrate problems and testicular cancer in later life.
- The elimination of territorial behaviour patterns such as, urine marking and spraying.
- A major reduction in sexual behaviour patterns. Such as the urge to roam--to look for new mates. And sexual excitment--humping almost anything; moving, or stationary.
- In some [but by no means all] there is a generalised reduction in dominance/aggression. Often this behaviour pattern is simply a training problem.
- Accidents happen: And unplanned litters are a fact of dog life. Your contributing to the general wellbeing of dogs by being a responsible owner.
The 3rd question--What are the drawbacks of neutering my pet?
- Probably the major one is the process of surgery itself: It is very controlled, safe, and it isn't as painful as a lot of human males would lead you to believe.
- The cost: This almost always crops up, and it's not just confined to veterinarian bills. In many areas there are organisation that willingly help--check them out.
- Tendency towards obesity and laziness: Most veterinarians will advise you to reduce the neutered dog's food intake by around 20%. The causes of canine obesity and laziness is exactly the same as in humans--Through overeating and lack of exercise.
- Another myth is that your dog will become less proactive as a watchdog. Your only removing your dog's testes not its brain. If prior to his castration your dog was protective of your home--that will definetly continue. The so-called guarding instinct is as much down to how you have trained your dog, as to anything supposedly inherited.
The 4th question--At what age should I have my dog neutered?
Armed with these guidelines you should feel confident that you can make a well informed decision regarding neutering your dog, and therefore towards your pet's health and wellbeing.
- This is a very relevant, and important question. If your reason is a dominance/aggression problem, and you are positive that it cannot be resolved by training. Then do it between 6-9 months of age otherwise there is a distinct likelihood that it will have little, or no effect.
- Case studies have shown that, dependent on the breed and size of the dog: Large dogs mature late and therefore you should wait until 1 year of age. In the smaller breeds around 10 months. Perhaps the best guide is to wait until 6-8 weeks after your dog has been regularly cocking his leg to urinate.
Click here to learn more about Dog Spaying.
For more information about neutering please consult the American Veterinary Medical Association AVMA
And, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals database of low cost neuter programs local to you: ASPCA