Spaying And Neutering

Overpopulation of animals is a serious problem. Every year, millions of animals have to be euthanized. Spaying and neutering your pet can help reduce this problem. In fact, some animal groups believe that spaying and neutering should be a requirement for pet owners.

Spaying and neutering are processes that make dogs unable to reproduce. In male dogs, neutering is the procedure during which the testicles are removed. In female dogs, spaying is the process during which the reproductive organs are removed. These procedures are both performed while the dog is under anesthesia.

The recovery period for spaying and neutering is generally very short. Dogs can go home with their owners after a few hours or a few days, depending on the dog”s age, the dog”s weight and other factors related to the dog”s health.

Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

Spaying and neutering have many benefits, both for dogs and for dog owners. Spaying and neutering have benefits for the community as a whole as well.

Benefits for your dog include:

  • Dogs that are spayed or neutered tend to live longer and are usually healthier.
  • Neutering reduces the risk of testicular cancer in male dogs.
  • Spaying and neutering reduce the risk of dogs developing disease and infections.
  • Spaying particularly reduces the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer in female dogs.

Benefits for dog owners include:

  • Dogs that are spayed or neutered are less likely to mark their territory (e.g., by urinating on the floor or on furniture).
  • Neutering male dogs makes them less likely to fight or run away.
  • Spaying and neutering make dogs more affectionate and loving toward their owners.
  • Spaying a dog eliminates the heat cycle.
  • Spayed or neutered dogs usually have a more even temper than non-spayed or non-neutered dogs. They are also less likely to bite.

Benefits for communities include:

  • less animals in already overcrowded and over-burdened animal shelters
  • less money spent on controlling animal populations
  • less stray animals.

Sparing a Dog”s Feelings

Many people feel that spaying and neutering are cruel and that they will be depriving their pets of their rights to reproduce. Some believe the pet will be upset by this. However, this is simply not true. Dogs do not feel a loss of their right to reproduce: They reproduce only to continue their species. Male dogs never recognize their puppies, and female dogs only nurse their puppies long enough for survival before moving on.

Costs of Spaying and Neutering

Many pet adoption services spay or neuter pets before they are given to owners. The cost of spaying and neutering can vary among veterinarians but is usually not excessive. Spaying and neutering is generally less expensive for younger puppies as well because there is less risk. Older dogs may have excess layers of fat or may have other health issues that younger dogs do not. Talk to a veterinarian about the best age to spay or neuter your dog.

Many pet insurance policies will either cover or assist dog owners in paying for the process as well, so this can be a good option for some dog owners.

Resources

Dog Owner”s Guide (2007). Spay or neuter surgery. Retrieved October 19, 2007, from the Dog Owner”s Guide Web site: http://www.doghause.com/spay.asp.

Humane Society of the United States (2007). Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet. Retrieved October 19, 2007, from the Humane Society Web site: http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/why_you_should_spay_or_neuter_your_pet.html.

The Dog Hause (2006). Spay and Neuter. Retrieved October 19, 2007, from the Dog Hause Web site: http://www.doghause.com/spay.asp.