If you are planning to raise a new puppy or ever had a four-legged friend, you will probably be thinking about a serious problem, namely whether you should have your puppy spayed or neutered. Many people disapprove of this and regard it as cruel and selfish behavior. However, once you realize the benefits and reasons for dog spaying or neutering, you may be ready to “determine” the future of your dog.
What are spaying and neutering?
Spaying or neutering is a simple surgical procedure under general anesthetic. “Spay” is the removal of the uterus and the two ovaries of the female dog through an incision in the abdomen. After the spay surgery, you can have your dog go home the same day or keep it overnight in the clinic to see if there are any complications.
“Neuter” is the removal of the testicles of a male dog by an incision near the front of the scrotum, which is easier than the spay procedure. Most dogs can usually go home the same day and recover within a few days.
The ideal age to spay or neuter a puppy is sixth months. Spaying before the first season is too young as the organs are not fully developed and grown. Experts also agree that spaying or neutering dogs should take place after puberty, which can achieve the maximum benefit.
The reasons for spaying or neutering
Why we spay or neuter our canine companions mainly relates to health issues and behavioral problems. In addition, it is recommended that most working dogs (such as the service dog) be spayed or neutered.
1. Prevention of unplanned puppies
When your female dog reaches puberty, she will be in her first breeding season for several weeks. Once this happens (once or twice a year), the scent of “heat” will attract the male dog from far away. Some of the male dogs will come to visit your female dog many times and urinate as a “signal” around your yard or house.
Service dogs that have been specially trained for disabled owners must be attentive to their work, an unwanted “visitor” may interfere with the execution of tasks and cause problems for the owners.
If you do not watch your puppy carefully during the breeding season, your girl will produce a few unplanned puppies after a few weeks. Apart from the expense of veterinary care during pregnancy, you may have to bear the high costs and risks if your girl is experiencing difficulty during delivery. She may pass away or lose her puppies during a difficult labor. What is more, pairings of different breeds, in addition to mating siblings, may be at higher risk for hereditary diseases than the same breed. Therefore, spaying is a responsible way to prevent these tragedies from happening.
2. Reduction of diseases
If you spay or neuter your dog, you can prevent hereditary diseases of the next generation due to inbreeding and different breed mating. Besides, it can reduce the health risks in both female dogs and male dogs.
Spayed females also have a reduced risk of breast cancer and infection of the womb (also called pyometra) and these are diseases that can threaten their lives.
Unneutered male dogs get frustrated and run away looking for mating, which can lead to accidents if he gets lost. Neutering not only can cope with the problem of running away, but also greatly reduces the risk of testicular cancer, prostate diseases, etc.
A healthy body is the basis for working dogs because they require more energy to train or work than household dogs.
Also, spaying or neutering can help your dog to keep fit and maintain the correct weight. Some dogs in heat lose their appetite and thereby lose weight.
3. Behavioral changes
Due to the stimulation of sex hormones, un-neutered dogs can show aggression behavior, especially to male dogs, and undesirable behavior such as mounting other dogs and humping people’s legs. And with females in heat, it can increase the possibility of roaming. As we know, working dogs should be well-trained and well-behaved, but it is difficult to lower the hormone levels and control the urge to breed if they are not spayed or neutered. To eliminate rude behaviors, most owners who intend to train their puppy to be a service dog choose to spay or neuter it at the appropriate age.
However, not all bad behaviors in dogs are eliminated by neutering, as these are also related to their personality. It is advisable to perform obedience training as long as you notice aggressive behavior both before and after the neutering.