Spaying or neutering your pet helps to control the pet population by preventing accidental pregnancies. This reduces the chance that unwanted puppies will be added to an already overloaded system. It is pointless to risk adding another life only to have it taken away a short time later because you can’t find a good home for the puppy. Aside from preventing unwanted pregnancies, spaying or neutering provides health benefits for your dog.
Every year in North America, millions of dogs are euthanized simply because they do not have a home. The shelters and humane societies are filled to capacity with unwanted pets. And yet, while millions die, millions more are born, far beyond the number of good homes available for them. The vicious cycle continues as long as people remain uneducated about the situation.
While puppy mills are responsible for most of this situation, backyard breeders are responsible for their fair share. Backyard breeders are those people who think they have a wonderful, beautiful dog and it would be amazing to see the puppies this wonderful dog would produce. Backyard breeders don’t do their research or perform the necessary preparations to properly breed their dog. This often results in dogs with temperamental or behavioral issues, that are hard to train or have inherited diseases or other health problems.
What is Spaying or Neutering?
Spaying is an operation performed by a vet that involves removing the entire reproductive system from a female dog, including the uterus and ovaries.
Neutering involves removing the testicles from a male dog.
There are many health benefits to your pet such as eliminating the chance of many types of cancer as well as the development of other serious, life threatening conditions. The cost of the spay or neuter will more than pay for itself in the long run. Spaying or neutering results in a happier, healthier pet that is more focused on you.
When to Have Your Pet Spayed or Neutered
The spaying or neutering of your pet should be done before your pet reaches six months old. In females, it is preferable to spay before they have their first heat cycle. Some vets will spay as early as 8 weeks old. You should have your pet spayed or neutered as early as your vet will allow. The younger it is done, the faster your pet will recover and have less potential for complications.
Advantages of Spaying or Neutering
- If you have a female, spaying your dog will eliminate the mess associated with her going into heat and the problems you will have with her trying to escape to find a mate.
- The chance of breast cancer is reduced down to almost zero if the spay is done before her first heat.
- You eliminate diseases and infections associated with the uterus and ovaries such as pyometra.
- If you have a male, neutering will decrease the chances of developing prostate diseases, hernias and eliminates the chance of testicular cancer.
- Will prevent many unwanted behaviors such as territorial and sexual aggression, escaping to find a mate and inappropriate urination.
Misconceptions of Spaying and Neutering
My dog will miss out on having sex.
Sex is not pleasurable for dogs like it is for humans, it is instinctual. In fact for females, sex can even be painful. Dogs do not have sex for fun, they have it to ensure the continuation of their species. And because of human intervention, there is an overabundant dog population in the world, so extinction is not an issue.
My dog will be sweeter or better behaved if I let her have puppies.
Having puppies won’t help with your dog’s temperament or behavioral issues, training does. And spaying or neutering your dog will generally make your dog more affectionate. Dogs do not remember their pups after they’ve been weaned, the caring of the pups is purely instinctual. If your dog does not already have a sweet temperament or is not well behaved, you are passing those bad qualities onto future generations.
My dog will miss out on parenthood.
Again, reproduction in dogs is purely instinctual, they do not have any emotions about it like we do as humans. Your dog does not yearn to have a baby and they do not have an emotional need to carry on their bloodline. Your dog will not even remember the puppies after they’ve been weaned or recognize them as his or her offspring. And as for ensuring the continuation of the species, that’s already well taken care of.
I want my children to witness the miracle of life.
With the miracle of life also comes death. There are so many potential problems during a pregnancy and delivery (whelp). Are you willing to risk the life of your beloved pet for this little exhibition? What if the whelp is a difficult one and you end up with dead puppies? There is always the risk that puppies will be stillborn or have birth defects or die within days of birth. Or what if you end up with a mother who refuses to look after the puppies? Or what if your dog dies? Are you willing to shell out hundreds, possibly thousands of dollars to save your pet should complications arise? Do you really want your children to witness that? Not to mention the work involved with looking after a litter of puppies. What happens if the mother is unable to look after the puppies or rejects them altogether?
There are many books and videos that you can use to show and educate your children on the miracle of life. You don’t need to endanger your pet or bring more puppies into the world to do it.
I don’t want my dog to change.
Your dog will not change, she or he will be the same pup you had before. Spaying or neutering does tend to calm dogs down a bit and you will take away the instinctual need to find a mate. You’ll stop your dog from either attracting other dogs when she’s in heat or in the case of a male, stop him from chasing after females. What you will end up with is a dog who is able to focus more on you, will be better behaved and easier to train because you’ve taken away that distraction.
I don’t want my dog to get fat and lazy.
Spaying or neutering will not cause your dog to get fat and lazy. Being fed too much and lack of exercise will do that. Make sure you are feeding your dog the correct amount of food and your dog is receiving adequate exercise.
Breeding my dog is a good way to make a few extra dollars.
The reality is, if you breed your dog properly, you actually make very little money and can possibly end up losing money. The extra vet visits, care, food and supplies add up quickly and you don’t end up recouping those costs. And this is for a straight-forward, no complications whelp. If your dog ends up needing an emergency C-section, or develops complications after pregnancy, it can run you hundreds of dollars. Not to mention all the work that’s involved with caring for puppies. Leave breeding to the professionals and find another way to make some money on the side.
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