Neutering is one of the most responsible decisions you can make for your pet. Spaying - neutering of a female dog - or castration - neutering of a male dog - is a routine procedure carried out in veterinary practice, and prevents the dog from breeding. There are many myths surrounding neutering, which we will hopefully debunk here.
Why should we neuter?
Without doubt there are a huge number of unwanted pets. Rescue centres are full to capacity with cats and dogs,thankfully many of them will find homes but some have been abandoned and will be very difficult to rehome. Unplanned pregnancies are particularly prevalent among cats, but the danger still remains with dogs. For example, when bitches are in season, they can try anything to escape and find a mate which could end in unwanted pregnancy. Neutering is about long term planning, and remember, having a pet is a long-term responsibility.
In addition to this there are genuine health benefits for your pet when you neuter your dog. For females, the risk of mammary cancer and urine infections are drastically reduced, and for male dogs can prevent development of testicular cancer, as about 7% of intact males develop a testicular tumour. Similarly, about 80% of male intact dogs past age five suffer from an enlarged prostate where urination and bowel movements become difficult. Neutering will prevent this.
Neutering can also have an impact on negative behaviour. It reduces the levels of testosterone produced by a male dog, which can reduce levels of dominant and aggressive behaviour. However, neutering isn’t always a cure all solution as your dog could have developed aggressive behaviour from improper training or socialization, in which case neutering is not enough. Just don’t see it as the ultimate solution. Reducing testosterone also usually stops dogs from marking their territory.
Some people believe they will not neuter as they believe their pet will get fat. It is true that the risk of obesity increases but this is easily avoided - they will only become fat if they are overfed!. Neutering changes the hormonal make-up and metabolism of your dog and less food is required, although that doesn’t mean less food is wanted. It is important to monitor your pet's weight to ensure they are not being overfed. This doesn't mean you need to stop feeding your dog their favourite Barker & Barker natural dog treats, they just need to ensure they are not having too many!
If you are at the point of considering neutering your dog. it is important to think of all the implications. Keep coming back to us here at Barker&Barker for more dog health news and views.
Posted On: 30/04/2017