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Why Should I Get My Dog Spayed or Neutered?

Spaying or neutering a dog prevents it from breeding.
Spaying or neutering dogs helps control the pet population, thereby reducing the number of unwanted animals.
A dog.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 04 April 2014
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Many pet owners are encouraged to get their dogs spayed or neutered. This is a good idea not only for the animal and the owner, but also for society at large. Having your dog sterilized is one of the most important parts of pet care, and every responsible dog owner should do it. Millions of unaltered animals worldwide speak to the need for widespread spay or neuter programs.

Whether your dog is being spayed or neutered, the veterinarian will anesthetize the animal and remove either its testicles or reproductive organs, preventing it from breeding. The procedure is relatively simple, and the healing process is very quick if pet owners follow the directions of the veterinarian for surgical aftercare. The surgery is good for your animal: it will increase the dog's lifespan, and reduce the risk of reproductive cancers such as cervical and testicular cancer.

The most compelling argument for having your dog "fixed" is the proliferation of unsterilized animals in pounds and animal shelters. Millions of dogs are euthanized every year because they lack loving owners and caring homes. In many nations, packs of feral dogs run wild, increasing the risk of communicating diseases, as well as traumatizing the local population. This tragic situation can be avoided by spaying or neutering your pets, and by adopting from animal shelters when you want to bring new animals into your life.

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Spaying or neutering your dog is also better for you. Altered animals tend to have fewer behavior problems such as aggression, inappropriate urination/defecation, and roaming. Pet owners who have experienced a pet in heat are well acquainted with the reasons to spay your dog, as animals in heat tend to behave erratically, mark their territory with pungent hormones, and attract male followers. Sterilized animals are better behaved, easier to handle, and much more comfortable around children.

In some areas, unaltered dogs are also more expensive to license, due to programs designed to reward people for spaying or neutering their pets. You may also find that your pet is not welcome in some dog parks and boarding facilities if it has not been altered. Socially, unaltered dogs are not very acceptable, and you may find it easier to have a dog in a social environment if it has been been sterilized.

Many countries around the world provide assistance to pet owners who need their dogs spayed or neutered. These programs provide free or low cost operations, and they may also offer other important veterinary care, such as vaccinations, as well. In addition, animals you adopt from an animal shelter or pound are often sterilized to help reduce pet overpopulation. By adopting from a shelter and altering your pets, you can help to reduce the problem of unwanted animals.

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Discuss this Article

sunshined
Post 14

I have a female Golden Retriever who has been the best dog for me. There were many times I thought it would have been nice to let her have one litter of puppies but I went ahead and had her spayed as soon as she was old enough.

I would have been tempted to keep some of the puppies and I really wasn't set up to have more than one dog. I have also had other female dogs that were not spayed and this is a real pain when they are in heat.

If they are an inside dog, they leave drops of blood all over the place and they can also be very moody during this time. I find it so much easier to just get them spayed and then you don't have to worry about all of this.

golf07
Post 13

If you go to our local animal rescue and adopt a dog, it will always be neutered or spayed. They don't let an adopted animal leave until this is done, and I think this is a good policy. I don't know if all animal rescue places do this, but I think it would be a good policy for all of them to follow.

honeybees
Post 12

When you talk about having your pets spayed or neutered I am always reminded of Bob Barker on the Price is Right game show. Even now with Drew Carey as the host, they always end the show encouraging people to get their pets spayed or neutered.

There are so many dogs and cats in animal shelters that don't have a good home that I can see why this is a good reminder for people. I hope this simple statement that has been made for so many years has saved the lives of a lot of pets that might not have had a good home.

bagley79
Post 11

If you don't plan on doing any breeding with your dog, I would definitely plan on getting them spayed or neutered as soon as you are able. One dog I had was 4 years old when I got him and he was not neutered.

We lived in the country and when there was a female dog in heat there was no way we could keep him home. This got to be very frustrating both for myself and those who lived close by with the dog in heat.

Once I got him neutered this wandering stopped and he was also easier to deal with. I was surprised at how quickly he healed up after the surgery. After a couple of days you would not even know he had anything done.

StarJo
Post 10

@giddion – They definitely will break down boundaries to reach a mate. I had a Golden Retriever who freaked out when the neighbor's female went into heat, and he scaled a four and a half foot fence to get to her!

I tried keeping him in the house, but he raked all the decorations off the windowsills looking out at her. He also made long claw marks on the paint of the front door.

I got him neutered after that. I had to wait until the neighbor's dog went out of heat, though, because if he were to get loose and go over there right after having the surgery, he could rip his stitches out. They say that the urge lingers for up to a month after you get a dog neutered.

giddion
Post 9

Roaming is a big issue when you don't have your animal neutered or spayed. I had a Cocker Spaniel as a child, and he never stayed home.

People would call my dad and tell him if the dog was in their yard, and he would sometimes drive miles to go get him. It didn't matter. He would go back the next day.

The urge to mate is overwhelming in dogs. They will break any barriers you put between them and the mate.

My dog eventually got hit by a car and killed because he couldn't resist the urge to roam. After that, we neutered any male dog that we got.

healthy4life
Post 8

The situation I have with my dogs and my neighbor's dogs is a good example of why people should have their pets spayed or neutered. When the neighbors moved in, they had a female dog who was in heat. She was also chained to a tree, so dogs from all over the neighborhood were coming over there to mate with her.

They also had a male dog chained to a different tree, and he was angry that he couldn't get to her. This made for a volatile situation.

Even though all my dogs had been neutered, they still went over there to investigate the day they moved in. The chained female was moody and hostile, so she attacked my puppy and sent him to the vet.

Also, the male dog got loose later that night and came into my yard and attacked two more of my dogs. I had hundreds of dollars in vet bills that could have been avoided if these people would have just had the surgeries on their animals!

anon93078
Post 4

@anon79325- They might be a little different after the surgery. After the dog recovers, she should be right back to normal.

@anon67965- She's doing that because she is trained using pee pads. Look up "crate training" and take it from there. Remember to spay her!

@j2960, no the heat cycle stops after a dog is spayed.

anon79325
Post 3

Are dogs angry after they get spayed?

anon67965
Post 2

i have a small six-pound shih-tzu. she is pee pad trained but every so often she decides to pee and poop everywhere. she is not spayed. can she be doing this to attract a male?

j2960
Post 1

Do female dogs still go into heat after they are spayed?

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