What Are The Pros & Cons Of Spaying / Neutering?
The decision to spay or neuter your puppy
is one that all of us dog lovers must confront. Due to the massive problem of dog overpopulation around the world, it is definitely the responsible thing to do. Most of us already understand this. Even so, many puppy owners will have questions regarding this procedure and how it will affect their precious puppy. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear each and every day regarding canine spaying and neutering
What Do Spay & Neuter Really Mean?
Female dogs are spayed by removing their reproductive organs, such as the ovaries
. Male dogs are neutered by removing their testicles
. This will be done with your pet under general anesthesia. Your pet will stay at the vet's office for postoperative monitoring for a period of hours or possibly overnight.
What Are The Risks To My Dog During And After Spay And Neuter Surgery?
The chances of anything going wrong during spay / neuter surgery are very small. Older dogs need to be monitored more closely during the procedure. In young dogs, the chances of allergic reactions to the anesthesia are virtually nil
because the puppy will be receiving the medication for the first time. After the surgery, your dog should be monitored closely for several days
for signs of infection. Check the surgical incision daily for redness, drainage and swelling
. Contact your vet immediately if you see any of these signs of infection or if your dog becomes lethargic or refuses to eat and drink.
What Age Should My Puppy Be When She Is Spayed (He Is Neutered)?
Generally, the appropriate time to spay/neuter is as early as possible. This can be from 6 months to 10 months of age
. Your veterinarian will examine your puppy and make the decision of age appropriateness for the surgery.
How Much Does The Spay / Neuter Surgery Cost?
The cost of spay/neuter surgery varies but a veterinarian will usually charge between $50 to $100 for the procedure
. The cost is often determined by the weight of the dog. There are also clinics that offer spay/neuter surgery as a free service, or at a greatly reduced cost on certain days of the month. Look up "spay and neuter clinics"
in your local area for further information.
Will My Puppy Put On Weight After Being Spayed / Neutered?
Altering your puppy before she/he reaches sexual maturity generally has no affect whatsoever on weight
. After sexual maturity, your dog may have an increased appetite because altering does affect hormone balance. Slight weight gain may be exhibited but if your dog is active, obesity
should not be a problem. Consult your vet if you feel your dog is gaining too much weight. There might be another reason for the weight gain. As is the case with all dogs exercise and a well balanced, nutritious dog food diet
are the key to your dog's health and wellbeing.
Will The Spay / Neuter Procedure Change My Dog's Personality?
The changes in your dogs' behavior after spaying or neutering will only be positive ones. Typical changes in behavior include no more roaming, lessened tendency to mark territory and less aggression
. Aside from these changes, your dog will be no less like himself than a human who has undergone a vasectomy or oophorectomy (removal of ovaries.)
What Are The Benefits Of Spay / Neuter Surgery For Me And My Dog?
The benefits of having your dog spayed or neutered are many. Dogs that have been spayed/neutered have no chance of developing uterine or testicular cancers
later in life (reproductive cancers
are fairly common among older dogs that have been bred). Risks for breast cancer
in female dogs and prostate problems in male dogs are also greatly reduced after the procedure.
Unaltered male dogs will go to great lengths to get to a female dog in heat. They will jump fences, dig their way out and cross busy streets in heavy traffic with only one goal in mind. This puts your dog at great risk. Male dogs that are neutered at a young age will be less likely to roam, mark their territory (including your couch!) with urine and will show less aggression toward other male dogs.
Unaltered female dogs will bleed for about 10 days twice a year. They will bleed all over your carpet, furnishings, your car and your yard. Once she bleeds in the yard, you may expect a parade of male dogs to show up. Even with a fenced yard, they will get in by climbing over or digging under the fence. Female dogs that are neutered at a young age will not have to go through unsettling heat cycles or endure unwanted pregnancies.
Doesn't My Dog Have The Right To Experience Sex?
Sex, for a dog, is nothing more than an instinctive drive to reproduce
. Sex, for a dog, does not involve feelings and emotions as it does with humans. An unaltered male dog will refuse to eat, sleep or respond to commands when there is a female dog in heat anywhere nearby. In fact, an unaltered male dog is quite miserable when there is a female in heat
. Try to avoid over-identifying with your dog and remember the numerous benefits of having your dog spayed or neutered. Taking your puppy to a spay or neuter clinic
is simply the right thing to do - for you and your dog.