The Benefits and Risks of Spaying or Neutering Your Dog

Spaying or neutering your dog is a common procedure that is often encouraged by vets and pet professionals. The procedure removes the reproductive organs of your pup so that they will not have babies in the future. While it may sound like a cruel and painful procedure, spaying or neutering is one of the most responsible ways you can care for your furbaby. 

At shelters, millions of dogs and kittens are euthanized every year because of irresponsible owners and poor breeding practices. Spaying and neutering can help control the dog population at shelters, and also bring many additional benefits for your pup! 

What’s the difference between spaying and neutering? 

Spaying and neutering are both procedures that remove the reproductive organs of your furbaby. Spaying is the procedure for females while neutering is the procedure for male dogs. 

The spaying procedure removes the uterus and ovaries of a dog. Depending on the size, breed, and condition of the dog, the procedure can take up to 90 minutes to complete. In comparison, neutering happens when a veterinarian removes the testicles of a dog. The process is a lot quicker, and can range anytime between 5-20 minutes. 

While both kinds of surgery are relatively short and low risk, owners would still have to bring their dogs in early for clinic checkup. The pre-operation check up is to make sure that your pup is healthy and safe to go into surgery. 

Why you SHOULD spay/neuter your dog

Help your pet live longer

Research has shown that spaying or neutering can help your furbaby live longer by decreasing the chance of cancer and infection. According to research done by the University of Georgia, spayed and neutered dogs live about a year and a half longer than dogs that did not receive the procedure. Female dogs are susceptible to uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and uterus infection. On the other hand, male dogs are at risk for testicular cancer and prostate issues. By removing those factors, your dog can live a healthier, longer life with you.   

No more heat 

Most mammals are hardwired into reproduction, which is why dogs and cats would go into heat cycles. When in heat, female dogs tend to be more aggressive and restless because they want to go out and find a mate. Without the spaying procedure, you might end up with a dog trying to escape your home because of the urge to mate. When you spay a dog, she will no longer experience heat, which would result in better behavior too. 

Better dog behavior  

The spay/neuter operation does not just help with female dog behavior problems. Generally, dogs that are spayed or neutered are less likely to demonstrate bad dog behaviors such as aggression, biting, urine marking, excess barking, and 

Save money

While the health and wellbeing of our pup is the main priority, it’s definitely no joke that vet bills are costly. If your pup ends up getting reproductive related cancer or infection, they might need surgery and lots of medication. By spaying and neutering your dog, you will have one less cost to worry about in the future. 

No more surprise pregnancy scare 

Surprise pregnancies can be scary, especially if you’re not planning on having more pups at home. If you're already having trouble dealing with one or two dogs at home, imagine a whole litter of puppies.

Are there any risks for the procedure? 

Of course, with every medical procedure comes a certain risk. In most cases, the surgery is successful and owners would be able to take their dog home on the same day as the surgery. However, there have been debates surrounding the long term health risks associated with spaying and neutering. 

In 2013, researchers from the University of California Davis found that spaying and neutering could result in “higher rates of hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament tears and certain cancers among desexed golden retrievers”. 

Of course, you could probably find other research demonstrating the pros and cons of spaying/neutering your dog. Therefore, the ultimate decision should be determined on a case-by-case basis. Every dog is unique and any procedure made on your precious furbaby should be carefully considered and consulted.

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