Good For Everyone: Why Spaying & Neutering Is Important

Don’t want to spay or neuter your pet dog? Think of the alternative.

Many folks hesitate to spay or neuter their pet, fearing that it’s painful and wondering what the actual benfits are. Here is a discussion of the procedure and why you should consider it for your dog.

What is it?

Spaying is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs of female dogs and neutering is the surgical removal of a male dog’s testicles.

Both operations are performed while the dog is under anesthesia. Your veterinarian may want to keep your dog under observation for anywhere from a few hours to several days. The length of the stay is dependent on your dog’s age, size, and health. Do not leave your dog overnight at the vet’s office if they do not have techs in attendance.

Certain procedures will require that you bring the dog back in a week to ten days for suture removal. Your veterinarian will be glad to answer any questions you may have about spay or neuter procedures, as well as help you determine the best age at which you should sterilize your dog.

Spaying or neutering is good for your dog

  • Spaying and neutering helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
  • Spaying and neutering reduces, or can eliminate, a number of health problems that are difficult and/or expensive to treat.
  • Spaying greatly reduces the chance of mammary cancer, especially if your dog is spayed before her first estrous cycle, and also eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer.
  • Neutering will decrease the possibility of prostate disease and eliminates testicular cancer.

Spaying and neutering offers benefits for you too

  • Spaying and neutering makes your dog a better, more affectionate companion.
  • Neutering dogs makes them less likely to spray and mark territory.
  • Spaying a dog eliminates her heat cycle, which lasts an average of six to 12 days, twice a year. Females in heat can get blood on your furniture, exhibit nervous behavior, and attract unwanted male dogs to your home.
  • Dogs that are not sterilized often have more behavior and temperament problems than dogs that have been spayed or neutered.
  • Spaying and neutering can make digs friendlier, less likely to bite.
  • Neutering makes dogs less likely to wander looking for females or get into fights.

Spaying and neutering are good for your community

  • Communities spend millions of dollars to control unwanted dogs.
  • Irresponsible breeding is the root cause of most vicious dog bites and attacks.
  • Animal shelters around the country are overburdened with surplus dogs.
  • Stray and homeless dogs get into trash containers, urinate and defecate on private lawns and/or public property, and frighten or anger people who do not understand their misery or needs.
  • Some stray dogs scare away or kill wildlife and birds.

The cost to spay or neuter your dog is relatively low if you consider all the benefits you and your dog will reap over his lifetime, as well as the satisfaction of knowing you are doing your part to prevent the birth of even more unwanted animals.

Source: Adapted from the HSUS