“Should I spay or neuter my dog?”
Quick answer: Yes, you should.
Many dog parents ask this question when they first bring home their puppy, and while it can be scary to think about your newest family member going through surgery, it’s important to understand the benefits that fixing your dog brings, and why you should do it.
Spaying versus neutering
Before diving into the many benefits of spaying or neutering your dog, you should know the pretty big difference between the two: spaying is for females, and neutering is for males.
So why are these procedures so important? Spaying and neutering are surgical sterilization procedures that stop your dog from reproducing — which helps to reduce dog overpopulation — and they can also add years to your dog’s life.
It can save your dog’s life
“Spaying prevents pyometra, a common, life-threatening uterus infection of unspayed female dogs,” Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a veterinarian at Animal Medical Center in New York City, told The Dodo.
According to Dr. Hohenhaus, by the age of 10, approximately 25 percent of female dogs will have developed pyometra, so spaying can save your dog a lot of pain as she ages.
Spaying your female dog also virtually eliminates the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer, and reduces the risk of breast cancer, while neutering your male dog eliminates the risk of testicular cancer, Dr. Hohenhaus said.
It reduces bad behavior
Unneutered dogs are more prone to aggression or other dominance-related behaviors. Since their urge to display dominance is much stronger than that of neutered dogs, an unneutered dog is more likely to mount other dogs and bark excessively.
Neutering your male dog can also lower the risk of your pet escaping, as some male dogs will do almost anything (including running away) to find a female in heat.
It can help other animals
It’s no secret that dog overpopulation is a huge problem. By getting your dog spayed or neutered, you’re helping to fix this issue and get more shelter dogs into loving homes.
One of the reasons being a dog parent is so special is because it gives you a love for the dog community as a whole, and getting your dog fixed allows you to do your part in helping that community.
Being a responsible dog owner means that you take the time to make the best choice for you, your dog and the community. If you have any questions about getting your dog spayed or neutered, be sure to contact your veterinarian.