A litter of puppies from not doing a spay or neuter.

Should You Spay Or Neuter Your Dog?

Are you having a hard time deciding whether you should spay or neuter your pet? It is a big decision after all and there is obviously no going back. In our opinion, and the opinion of most pet experts, it is a very good idea to have your pet spayed or neutered. Unless you are planning on breeding your dog, it is just the right thing to do. Here is why.

Reasons To Spay or Neuter

There are a lot of reasons to go the spay or neuter route. Here are some of the top ones that will likely help you make up your mind.

  • They will live longer.
    Pets that have been fixed will live a longer and generally happier life. This is largely due to their reduced risk to wander and fight other animals but there  are other factors. Spaying or neutering reduces the risk of several cancers including testicular cancer and pancreatic cancer. It also reduces the risk of Pyometra in females. Pyometra is a fatal infection of the uterus.
  • It will save you money.
    Since your dog will live a healthier life, you will have less vet bills to pay. Less expensive treatments and a reduced chance of having to stitch your pet back together after a fight. It also means no surprise litters with all of their associated costs.
  • Your dog will be less territorial.
    With all those hormones raging, a dog that has not been fixed or spayed will be far more territorial. That usually manifests itself as aggressiveness and marking. Neither of which are very desirable.
  • You get a more loyal pet.
    Without the drive to mate, protect territory and with a reduced prey drive, your dog will be much more devoted to you, It will result in a tighter bond and a much stronger relationship.

The Spay Or Neuter Process

For males, it is simply a process of removing the testes. The procedure is very simple and they recover quickly.

For females, the procedure is a bit more involved and recovery will take a little longer as well. In most cases, your vet will remove the ovaries, uterus and Fallopian tubes. Since the procedure is more involved, this is a great time to do a procedure like a stomach tack. For larger dogs such as the Great Dane, this can greatly reduce the chance of their stomachs flipping, an often fatal problem.

Now, there are alternatives to a traditional spay or neuter but they do not have the same advantages as a full procedure. Male dogs can get a vasectomy to prevent them from being able to father a child and females can have their uterus removed. These procedures will control unwanted pregnancies but they will not provide any of the other behavioral benefits.

When To Spay Or Neuter Your Dog

So you have decided that you should spay or neuter your dog, but when should you do it? The time is different for small and large dogs.

Small breed dogs reach maturity faster than larger dogs and can be spayed or neutered earlier. If your dog will be under 50 pounds at maturity, you can have the procedure done at around 6 months.

For larger breeds, you need to let them reach full size before you spay or neuter. Depending on the breed, this could be anywhere from 9 months to over 14 months. Consult your veterinarian for their best estimate

The cost for the procedure should be anywhere from $200 to $400 with a spay being more expensive than a neuter. If you have taken advantage of puppy financing, you can include these costs in your loan request.

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