A crucial decision in your responsibility as a dog owner that is most frequently overlooked is whether or not to neuter or spay your pet. It may not seem like a big deal, but planning and sorting your dog’s ability to reproduce is something you need to think about as soon as your dog reaches sexual maturity.
The very idea of putting your dog under the unpleasantness of operation to snip away at his private parts seems to some the height of inhumane treatment. However, not relieving your dog of its uncontrollable instincts that it has no way to properly deal with could easily be considered just as cruel.
What is Neutering & Spaying
Male dogs are Neutered, a procedure that involved the removal of the main sperm and testosterone producing organs. The rest of the dogs reproductive tract is left intact. Whilst involving a cost, neutering for a male dog is relatively cheap in comparison to spaying as the operation isn’t as intrusive and the healing times are relatively speedy.
Females will undergo Spaying. This procedure is a little more costly as it involves opening the dog’s abdomen to access the reproductive organs inside. The rest and recovery time after the operation is also a bit longer than the down time for neutering a male dog.
As with all surgery, there are the potential risks of complications, but spaying for instance can prevent future cancers and infections of the uterus your dog might have developed if they hadn’t had to procedure.
Will it even make a difference?
A bitch that comes into season is a dog attracting hot spot. Not spaying your female will make your walks in the park a living hell not just for you but for your pet as well. Squabbling, biting and bickering are all behaviours she will be introduced to all during her season. Dogs in your neighbourhood nearby will be drawn to her scent and may even break out of their own yards to jump into yours. All it takes is a few minutes of your attention to be directed elsewhere and you could well end up with a litter of puppies a few months down the line.
Thousands of dogs and puppies get abandoned or arrive at animal shelters every year so make sure you aren’t contributing to this statistic.
You’ll also have to deal with menstruation and if you’re not prepared with pads and menstruation diapers to fix to your dogs behind, you’ll be cleaning quite a bit of unwanted mess.
Dogs that have not been neutered are snappy and relentless, to both people and other dogs. Their natural urges can lead to unwanted aggressive behaviour and attention that can be both embarrassing for yourself and for potential guests to your home. These kind of behaviours are annoying, a guest will not be impressed if their initial welcome into your home is to be relentlessly humped on the leg by your dog.
You might find this behaviour irritating when it is directed at you, and it is unfair to get angry with the dog when he doesn’t understand that what he’s doing is wrong. Neutering will significantly alter your dogs hormone levels, leading to a stress-free and calmer dog.
But it’s natural behaviour
True, but a dog that doesn’t get to experience the instincts he can’t act upon will never know any different.
How should I decide?
The first thing you want to do with planning how you will handle this decision is to think about the reasons why you would or would not want to get your dog neutered/spayed.
If you are planning to breed your dog, consider then your reasons for breeding. A good breeder will breed their dogs for the continuation of strong genes and development in the breed and not just breeding for profit.
Pregnancy puts a considerable stress on your dog, mentally and physically and a bad birth can do permanent damage to your dog’s body, and in rare cases this can be fatal.
The bottom line is that spaying and neutering is considered a vital part of responsible pet ownership. A dog in your care needs to have its best interests at heart, if providing your dog with this procedure gives your dog a better quality of life, which in most cases it will do, then neutering or spaying is the way to go.