Deciding your pet's reproductive fate is a deeply personal matter and many pet owners have strong feelings about the subject. Accordingly, many veterinarians try to avoid being overly directive with their advice.
However, when analyzed dispassionately, the benefits of spaying and neutering far outweigh the perceived problems. Consider the following eight benefits alteration provides for your dog when trying to make the decision.
- Altering your dog can result in reduced registration fees. In an effort to reduce the size of the unwanted pet population, many municipalities impose lower registration fees for dogs that have been spayed or neutered than for those who are intact. While the difference between the two fee levels is typically modest for any given year, the total savings realized over the life of your pet can be quite significant.
- Spaying reduces the chances of your female dog developing breast tumors. These tumors are often cancerous, which means they can metastasize, and cause problems in other portions of the body as well.
- Neutered males are less likely to wander widely than unaltered males are. In their attempts to sow their wild oats, male dogs will travel far and wide in search of receptive females; neutering reduces this instinct greatly.
- Neutering male dogs reduces their chances of developing testicular cancer and prostate problems. Dogs that develop testicular tumors usually require castration, although chemotherapy is sometimes effective.
- Spayed females will not produce a bloody discharge during part of their reproductive cycle. Unaltered females will experience a "period" about twice each year. Either you will need to make your dog wear a sanitary diaper during this time or you will find blood-red stains all over your carpet, furniture and clothing.
- Spaying your female ensures that she will not have to endure the physical tolls of pregnancy, delivery and nursing. While most dogs complete their pregnancy and give birth with no problems, some do experience problems after completing the process. Additionally, pregnant dogs require more care than non-pregnant dogs do.
- Neutered male dogs are less likely to exhibit behavioral problems. Neutered male dogs rarely exhibit the dominance behaviors – such as mounting and marking their territory -- than unaltered dogs do.
- You will not be forced to care for a litter of puppies. There is a big difference in caring for a single puppy and caring for an entire litter of puppies. While many people embark on the process enthusiastically, they quickly tire of the puppies' constant crying and the odors they cause (young puppies will urinate and defecate while inside their box or crate).
Contact a vet, such as at Caring Hands Animal Hospital, for more help.