Should I Neuter or Spay My Dog?
The term “fixed” is not necessarily a pleasant one. It is used to describe the act of neutering or spaying your dog and implies that doing so cures them. Is this a fact though? Is it really beneficial to spay or neuter your dog? For most people, the answer will be yes and here is why.
Neutering Your Male
For a male, neutering is a rather simple process. With their sexual organs on the outside of the body, this is a relatively simple procedure. Most male dogs will go home the same day with only minor discomfort. For your male dog, the biggest problem that they have with the procedure will be the special collar that they have to wear afterwards.
The only real reason not to neuter your male is if you intend to breed him. For those without this goal, here is what neutering will do for your dog.
Benefits To Neutering Your Male Dog
The benefits to neutering your male dog are many. Here are just a few.
Stop Spraying & Marking Activity
This is one of the most destructive things that your dog will do, but it is preventable. The key is to have your dog neutered “before” the drive to mark happens. After they get accustomed to marking, it will be much harder to correct this behavior.
Less Desire To Wander
A dog that is not “fixed” will have a desire to wonder and procreate. This puts them at risk of not only getting lost, but also getting hurt when they encounter other males.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
Obviously, with the removal of the testicles, testicular cancer becomes far less of an issue. Cancer risk in general goes down as well, especially those related to the prostate.
A dog that has been neutered will be calmer. They will have less hormones running through their body and will thus have much less desire to compete for dominance. If you have kids or other pets in the home, this is a huge advantage, especially if you have a larger dog such as a Great Dane puppy.
Statistically, dogs that have been “fixed” lead longer and healthier lives. They have less health issues and are less likely to get hurt because of wandering or aggressive behavior. Neutering can add years to your male dogs life.
Spaying Your Female
Spaying is certainly a bit more involved than a simple neuter, but the benefits might even be greater for you and your pet. After their procedure, most dogs will be able to come home, although some vets do like them to stay overnight. In any case, your female dog will require a bit more recuperation time than a male dog will.
Benefits To Spaying Your Female Dog
Just like with neutering a male dog, the list of benefits to spaying a female are extensive.
They Will Not Go Into Heat
When you spay your female dog, the chief benefit is that you will not have to deal with a heat cycle. This is something that can be messy and can attract stray dogs to your home.
No Wandering From Home
Just as the male dog tends to wander when breeding, so does the female. Spaying will reduce the desire to roam away from your home, keeping your female dog safe.
Less Chance Of Cancer
Cancer is the leading cause of death among dogs, with nearly 50 percent of canines dying from it. Having your female spayed will reduce the risk of Ovarian, Uterine and many other forms of cancer.
They Get A Happier & Longer Life
Females that are spayed will live longer and healthier lives. They will not have to deal with the stress and strain that hormones and breeding in general can put on their body.
When To Spay Or Neuter
When trying to determine when to spay or neuter, you need to take your dogs size into consideration. Small sized dogs like a Teacup of any breed, should be spayed or neutered when they reach 5 to 6 month of age. Larger dogs are a bit different.
A large dogs, those over 50 pounds, should be “fixed” when they stop growing. Depending on the breed, this could be anywhere from 9 to 15 months of age. Spay or neuter them too soon and you risk stunting, or at least delaying growth.