Do I really need to have my dog spayed or neutered?

April 13, 2012

One pet would never be enough for a dog lover. Cuddly and adorable fur balls would always attract dog enthusiasts. However, this does not mean that all these adoring people would be ready to take one home if a box of puppies is found on the wayside. Dog lovers would always want to care for the poor puppies but available space, time and most importantly financial considerations can be the deciding factor against taking one. The over population of homeless dogs have become a national problem. Non-dog lovers or people that do not own dogs would think that they are not affected by this concern. However, it must be considered that millions of taxpayer’s money is spent to house and care for these stray animals. Taxpayer’s money would again be used to euthanize approximately 3.7 million stray animals every year. Rabies and diseases that can be transmitted by these stray dogs have threatened human health.

Is there a need for a dog owner to spay or to neuter the pet? Spaying or neutering is the only way by which a dog owner can support programs addressing the overpopulation of stray dogs. You may be aware of the need to prevent your dog from reproducing more so if you cannot find homes for the puppies. So you take measures to confine the pet. However, there is no guarantee that breeding will not occur. Dogs in heat will dig tunnels, will destroy gates or will scale a six foot fence just to be able to be with each other. The result… homeless puppies.

Spaying or neutering is a surgical procedure that renders dogs incapable of reproduction. Spaying or ovariohysterectomy is the surgical procedure that removes the ovaries and the uterus. Neutering is done on male dogs. To render a male dog infertile, the testicles are removed.

The decision to have the dog spayed or neutered is entirely the decision of the dog owner. The cost of spaying/neutering can be a burden for a dog owner on a tight budget. However, these procedures have a lot of benefits. Dog experts recommend spaying the dog before the first heat cycle not only because the pet can slip out one night and meet with the neighbor’s dog but more importantly to extensively prevent the development of health concerns like mammary and uterine cancer as well as pyometra. Pyometra is an infection of the uterus that can result to the death of the dog. Unwanted and unmanageable behavior is the most common concern of dog owners. This concern can somehow be lessened by spaying the dog given the fact that the spayed pet would not have to go through mood swings induced by hormones. Neutering will have the same effect on the dog. Neutered dogs are noticed to be better behaved than intact dogs. Neutering reduces the production of testosterone thus the inclination to roam to be with bitches in heat will be lessened. Because testosterone is responsible for dominance related activities of the dog, territorial marking and aggression towards other dogs will be lessened if not totally eliminated. Similar to spaying, neutering has health benefits for the male dog as well. Testicular cancer and prostate cancer are prevented if the dog is neutered.

Dogs are loving and loyal animals. Unfortunately, the population of dogs far exceeds the number of people willing to take one for a pet and the only humane way of dealing with this concern is to put dogs to sleep. You are a dog lover and for sure you would not want dogs to have such a tragic end. Are these considerations not enough to make you decide to neuter or spay your pet?

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