In males neutering involves the removal of the testicles and in females the removal of the ovaries and the uterus.
Unless a dog is neutered, he or she could be responsible for the birth of unwanted puppies. There are already thousands of stray and abandoned dogs in the UK. We estimate that there are over 30,000 dogs needlessly destroyed in the UK alone each year and it is left to rescues to pick up the pieces. Please don’t be fooled into thinking that it is only mongrels that die in rescue centres. There has been a significant increase in the number of unwanted pedigree dogs. If owners were to have their dogs neutered much of this unnecessary suffering could be avoided.
Of course, many owners are responsible enough to ensure that even if their dog or bitch is not neutered, they are not able to mate and have litters of puppies. However, even with the best intentions, accidents do happen, and besides there are other reasons why you should consider neutering your dog.
Neutering can also prevent some illnesses that may occur in later life.
Pyometra - This is womb infection that can kill. It affects most unneutered female dogs at some point and will result in her having to be neutered anyway, so neutering at a younger age can insure that this won’t happen.
Mammary cancer - If she is neutered the likelihood of developing mammary tumours is reduced especially if neutered before her first season.
Seasons - Many bitches feel rotten during seasons, suffering from mood-swings and changes of personality. And what a pain - all that licking to clean up all the time! I’m sure many owners would find blood spotting over the furniture and carpets pretty annoying too. And remember that if a bitch is unfortunate enough to become diabetic, seasons almost always upset insulin balance and may hasten the onset in the first place.
False pregnancies - Most bitches also suffer to some extent with false pregnancies following a season, which can be distressing and physically uncomfortable. If you consider that most entire (not neutered) bitches will have two seasons and false pregnancies a year, they could spend nearly half their lives feeling unwell.
Pregnancy - apart from adding to the stray and unwanted dog problem – they pose a significant health risk to the bitch. Pregnancies can and do go wrong. Mothers and puppies can die from complications. And this can also be a very expensive venture!
Unwanted attention - Prevents the sexual advances of male dogs when out on walks, in your garden or outside the house.
Testicular cancer - Neutering completely removes the risk of testicular cancer, reduces the likelihood of the far more common hormonally influenced tumours such as anal adenomas, as well as helping to prevent prostate problems in later life.
Unwanted behaviour - May reduce some sexual-related unwanted behaviour.
Behavioural problems - Some male dogs may develop behavioural problems caused by an increase of testosterone (the male hormone produced in the testicles). These behaviours can include: mounting other dogs of either sex, mounting people and objects around the house such as cushions or their own beds. Other problems you may encounter are territory marking (urinating) around the house, aggression (particularly towards other male dogs) and straying.
Your dog will only get fat if you let him/her.
If your dog has enough exercise and you feed him/her correctly, he/she will not get fat or lazy.
When taking into account the arguments surrounding neutering, the advantages and added health benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.
Dogs cannot predict the future and so won’t miss what they’ve never experienced.
By being a responsible owner and neutering your pet, you will be preventing the potential suffering of many unwanted dogs in the future.
No, dogs don’t have a choice, we make it for them, but if they weren’t neutered most dogs wouldn’t be allowed to mate and reproduce anyway; can you imagine how even more frustrating it would be to want to do these natural behaviours because they have all those hormones and the correct equipment - but not be allowed. It’s enough to drive any dog mad!
This is where roaming comes in. It can make a dog mad enough to go to any lengths to escape the house or garden and go looking for a mate? Dogs (males particularly) may become fantastic escape artists smelling a bitch in season from miles away; sometimes becoming lost whilst wandering and sadly, occasionally the victims of fatal traffic accidents.
But what about problems associated with neutering? Of course, any operation where a general anaesthetic is used comes with risks. Although with modern techniques, these routine operations very rarely end in tragedy.
So should dogs be neutered? If a dog is neutered before full sexual maturity - it won’t miss what it’s never had. And more importantly if it means that it prevents future generations of dogs from being killed just because nobody wants them and there aren’t enough homes to go around - then really isn’t neutering the kindest option?
If you are please ask yourself why. We have enough dogs in this country already and the amount in rescue centre is enormous so we don’t need any more. This includes mongrels, pedigrees and many, many Staffordshire bull terrier types. So for every pup you breed you are taking a home from a rescue dog. Please think twice about breeding!
If you are considering getting a new pet please visit your local animal rescue centre. So many animals are put to sleep every year as there aren't enough homes for them all. Despite this breeders still continue to add to this problem to line their pockets with money. Dogs of all shapes and sizes, cross-breeds and pedigrees are looking for homes. See our links page to find your local animal rescue.
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