Should I Spay or Neuter My Dog?

There are many reasons to spay or neuter your dog. In fact, there are far more reasons to take these steps than there are to leave the animal intact. A responsible pet owner alters their pet.

Should I Spay or Neuter My Dog

Reasons to Spay or Neuter your Dog

When to Alter Your Pet
Only animals used in an active breeding program designed to perpetuate the breed should be left unaltered. Anyone keeping a pet should have it altered as soon as it reaches the age where the surgery can be performed. Consult with a veterinarian, but in most cases the surgery can be performed at about six months of age. This changes the physiology of the animal before the hormones of the sex organs fully develop.

Pet Health
This also prevents unintended litters of puppies that increase the animal population. It also can provide a marked improvement in dog health. Spayed female dogs have less incidents of cancer than animals left intact. Altered male canines have no risk of testicular cancer. A neutered male also may develop less muscle mass and have a less masculine appearance. This benefits large breeds where hip problems can develop in larger animals. Female canines spayed before the first heat cycle generally have no risk of breast cancer.

Pet Behavior
Along with improved dog health, there are improvements in the animal’s behavior. Both males and females may show better concentration during training exercises. A spayed female animal does not go through its normal heat cycle twice a year. During these periods, the animals are often distracted and difficult to work with and may tend towards more aggressive behavior. If you do not neuter a male, the animal will become distracted and possibly aggressive when it senses a female in heat is near. This situation eliminates any possibility of training and can pose risks to handlers and family members in extreme situations.

The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Dogs

For these reasons, most working dogs, animals used by police departments or in other security functions, are neutered. The improved pet health, along with the behavioral improvements, outweigh any possible gain from using the animal for breeding. The same holds true for the family pet. A calmer dog with better health vastly outweighs any value in breeding and raising puppies.

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