Spaying/Neutering Your Dog: Pros and Cons
It is recommended that almost everyone who owns a dog as a pet should either spay or neuter the animal. There are a lot of good reasons that this is considered to be the norm for pet owners. The main reason is that pets that don’t get spayed or neutered end up contributing to the problem of pet overpopulation. Because this is such a widespread problem, it has become mainstream for the average pet owner to spay or neuter his dog. Most pet owners don’t even think about it before they do it. The vet or the pet adoption agency recommends (or even mandates) it, so the dog’s owner has the procedure done. Most people will agree that it’s ultimately a good thing. However, it’s not something that you should do without first thinking it through, since it does have some negative consequences.
Spaying and Neutering: What Are They?
First things first, let’s talk about what it means to spay or neuter your dog. It means that you are removing your dog’s sex organs. When the dog is a female dog, the act of removing the sex organs is called spaying. When the dog is a male dog, the act of removing the sex organs is called neutering. The actual medical procedure for the animals is different because the sex organs are different. However, the end result is the same–the sex organs are gone and the dog can no longer contribute to the act of making puppies.
Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Dog
Like I said before, there are a lot of really great reasons to spay or neuter your dog. These reasons include:
- Reducing the problem of pet overpopulation. This is a serious problem in today’s society. There are too many pets and not enough homes for those pets. This ends up resulting in a lot of stray pets that don’t have a home. Most of these end up in places like The Humane Society where they have to be put down if they can’t quickly get adopted. This means that there are a lot of dogs that are already out there which are being killed. If your pet makes puppies then you’re contributing to this serious problem. The problem of pet overpopulation is the core reason that it is highly recommended by animal experts that you spay or neuter your dog.
- Prevents a lot of health problems that your dog might get if you elect not to spay or neuter the pet. There are a lot of different medical problems that dogs can get if you fail to get them spayed or neutered. For example, female dogs are highly likely to develop tumors in their mammary glands if they aren’t spayed before the first time that they go into heat. Diseases of the uterus and testicles in your pet (such as cancer) are also prevented when the sex organs are removed.
- Your pet will be calmer. Removal of the sex organs results in changes to the hormones of the dog. This results in having a calmer, less aggressive dog. This is particularly true for male dogs who have been neutered but is also true of female dogs once they have been spayed.
- Your dog will be cleaner. There is actually a lot of mess associated with a dog going into heat (such as discharge or blood from female dogs). If you spay or neuter your dog then the dog isn’t going to go into heat. You avoid the mess.
- You will probably save yourself some money. A lot of people who fail to get their dog spayed or neutered do so because they don’t want to spend the money to get the procedure done. However, the cost is minimal in comparison to the cost that you’ll experience if you don’t spay or neuter the pet. Those costs include the cost of puppies if the pet gets pregnant and the cost of ongoing health problems such as uterine cancer that wouldn’t affect a dog who had been spayed or neutered. (Learn more about the costs of owning a pet.)
Drawbacks of Spaying or Neutering Your Dog
The benefits of getting your dog spayed or neutered are clear. As a general rule, it’s probably something that you should do since these benefits are pretty important. However, you should know that there are risks and drawbacks to getting the procedure done. Those include:
- The risk of the medical procedure. Spaying and neutering of dogs is a really standard procedure that has very few side effects of problems associated with it. However, you always take a risk that something might go wrong whenever you take your dog in for surgery. That’s a risk that you should be aware of before you go through the procedure. Talk to the vet about in detail.
- The dog will likely be less active and may gain weight after the procedure. The change in hormones that the dog undergoes will result in calming the dog down. That’s a good thing but it might mean that the dog will be less active than before and some people really prefer an active dog. The dog will tend to appear quieter to others which people will consider to be a problem if they’ve gotten their dog as a form of protection for the property. It’s also notable that your dog will probably gain weight as a result of the change in hormones (just like people do when they go through their changes of life).
- The dog won’t be able to have babies. This is the purpose of the procedure but some people fail to think about the consequences of this. If you ever might want to breed your dog to raise puppies which you can then sell then you don’t want to get it spayed or neutered.
Those drawbacks are basic and they really aren’t that bad but you need to think them through before going through the common process of getting your dog spayed or neutered.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.