Not sure why you should neuter your dog? Well, you’re in the right place!
But before we dive into the reason to neuter your dog, let’s first start by understanding what it is.
Neutering is the surgical procedure to remove part of a dog’s reproductive system. In male dogs, it means removing the testicles. In female dogs it’s usually called “spaying” and it means removing the uterus and both ovaries.
Neutering is the only 100% effective birth control method used in dogs.
There are several reasons why it’s a good idea to neuter (or spay). But I’ll try to keep it short and simple and talk about the biggest 5 reasons to have it done to your dog.
1. Reduce Pet Homelessness
Yes, you read that right. Don’t like seeing stray dogs? Want to help fight pet homelessness? Then neuter your dog!
In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that there are 3.3 million stray dogs entering animal shelters every year! And approximately 670.000 healthy and adoptable dogs are euthanized.
If this didn’t bring a single tear to your eyes then I don’t know what will!
And where do you think these stray dogs are coming from? You guessed it… unexpected pregnancies that could’ve been easily prevented by neutering.
I don’t know about you, but I’m 50% convinced by now that neutering is the way to go! The other 50%? Well, that would be with the next point!
2. Longer and Healthier Life
Who doesn’t want his furry best bud to live longer, raise their hand!
Nobody? Well, then I guess this will be a big one for you too!
Besides preventing unwanted litters, it also prevents a series of health issues.
In male dogs, it prevents problems like testicular cancer and some prostate complications. In female dogs, it helps prevent uterine infections, like pyometra, and breast cancer. And breast cancer has a 50% chance of being fatal – I don’t like those odds!
Studies also show that neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered male dogs. And, spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs.
Another great reason, regarding health, is to prevent spreading bad genes. We all know that there are some pets who have genetic diseases. These can be conditions such as hip dysplasia and heart problems.
We don’t want to keep having animals suffering from health issues like these. So, to avoid this, animals with these conditions can’t breed.
Personally, I wouldn’t need any more reasons to convince me. But, just to be safe, I still have 3 more great reasons for you!
3. Less Unwanted Behaviors
Since you’re reading this blog post, chances are that you’ve already done some research on this topic. So I’m sure that you’ve heard that neutering your dog can help prevent several dangerous, unwanted, and downright embarrassing behaviors.
Why is that? Easy!
As mentioned before, neutering a male dog involves removing his testicles which are the main source of testosterone – those damn hormones! This can have a great impact on certain behavioral traits.
Also, in female dogs, it means removing the ovaries which are a source of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for behaviors related to the reproductive cycle – and the reproductive cycle itself, of course.
Do keep in mind that the earlier you neuter your dog, the more evident these behavioral changes will be. Don’t expect to see huge changes if you only neuter your dog when he’s already 2 years old, for example.
Anyway, always check with a vet before making any decision on when is the best time to neuter your dog. Your dog’s vet is the right person to guide you through this!
Going back to the main subject of this point… What “unwanted behaviors” am I talking about?
The biggest ones are definitely territorial and aggressive behaviors. This includes marking their territory by peeing all over the place with strong-smelling urine and fighting with other dogs to protect their territory.
Another important behavior to consider is the need to roam away from home. Intact male dogs will do anything to find a mate. Besides, they go crazy if they smell that a female dog is in heat – and they can smell it from miles away.
This “roaming” behavior is also a big factor in reducing your dog’s life as he may get into a lot of trouble while going after that female in heat. They can get hit by a car, get in fights with other males and all sorts of problems. Females also tend to roam when they are in heat – but more on this on the next point.
Remember when I talked about “embarrassing” behaviors? I was talking about the ever-famous and ever-embarrassing dog mounting someone’s leg – or anything, really. So yeah… I think I don’t need to explain this one further.
Here’s a bonus behavioral reason! Because neutered dogs end up getting less distracted by other dogs, they are easier to train. They also end up being better behaved as it’s a lot easier to get them focused on you and the directions you give him.
4. Your Female Dog Won’t Go Into Heat
Female dogs go into heat for several weeks once or twice a year. When a female dog is in heat it means that she’s ready to mate – of course, with the ultimate purpose of getting pregnant.
The problem with this is that, when your female dog is in heat, she sends out signals. Male dogs pick up these signals saying that she’s ready to mate. This is what makes dogs go completely nuts and can bring some unwanted visitors to your backyard. And, if your female dog isn’t spayed, you may be in for a little treat – an unplanned litter!
Sure it sounds cute to have a litter. But there’s a huge downside into dealing with this which I’ll talk about in the next point.
So to prevent your dog from getting pregnant you need to make sure that you keep her away from any intact male dogs. This can be a tricky challenge!
Also, keep in mind that there are risks associated with pregnancy. An example of this is an obstructed labor which can be a complication in any breed and fatal if not followed up by a vet.
Spaying your female dog will prevent all this. And, as you can see, it all ends up being tied up with helping your furry pal live a longer and healthier life.
5. Financial Benefits of Neutering Your Dog
Lastly, I want you to consider the financial benefits.
You probably thought that neutering or spaying is an expensive procedure and you can’t afford it. But, honestly, if your finances are tight, you can’t afford not to do it!
You should consider the costs of NOT neutering your dog.
This is especially true if you have a female dog. It’s a lot cheaper to pay for your dog’s spaying than for a litter. Sometimes, if you adopted one from the shelter they may even offer to do it for free. This is a way to get more people to adopt dogs and help reduce the number of stray dogs.
Besides all the costs associated with having a litter, it will also take a lot of your time and energy to find homes for all of them.
Alright, but let’s imagine you’re thinking “sure but I can find ways for my dog not to mate at all”. Great, but don’t forget about all the health issues we mentioned in the second point.
Paying the treatment for a dog with cancer or pyometra is a lot more expensive and dangerous than routine neutering surgery.
I hope these reasons stuck with you. And that, if you still choose to not neuter your dog, that you are aware of what comes with it.
If you decide you should neuter or spay your dog, always check a vet before moving into it. Make sure you agree on what’s the right age for your dog to be neutered and what’s the exact procedure. It’s also important to know what is the post-operation care your dog should get and if you should change anything in your dog’s eating or exercise habits.