Neutering Your Dog – To Neuter or Not?
Neutering is an important decision to make as a dog owner. This Holidays4Dogs article provides some helpful information, especially with regard to the timing of surgery, a significant factor when deciding whether to neuter, or not.
Neutering a dog is a surgical procedure which prevents the dog from reproducing. Males = castration. Females = spaying. (Not ‘spade’ or, ‘spaded’). The operation itself is generally a straight forward and safe procedure for both males and females.
In males, removal of the testicles reduces the effects of the hormone testosterone. In the female dog, removal of the ovaries and womb, prevents the her from becoming pregnant. It also means she will not come into season.
Positive reasons for neutering a pet.
Not least on the list, neutering prevents unwanted litters of puppies. According to the Blue Cross, this could be avoided if people made the decision to get their pets neutered. Rearing a litter of puppies is expensive and time consuming. In addition, should complications arise during pregnancy, or birth, costs can escalate into many hundreds of pounds.
Neutering can help with unwanted sexual advances towards humans, such as leg humping. However, castrating may not actually address aggressive behaviours, as was commonly thought. Read on for a more detailed examination of this point.
Bitches in season can change in their behaviour and may try to escape from their home. Similarly, entire male dogs may be more inclined to run away in their quest for a female dog to mate. They can be extremely persistent with this, jumping over fences, running into roads and often being highly destructive in the home, in their attempts to escape.
A dog in this ‘zone’ is much less likely to listen to you, even if he has previously shown himself to be an obedient dog. Once an entire dog detects a female in season his only focus will be getting to her. This can make entire dogs difficult to manage, especially around entire females.
If you wish to home board your dog, some establishments may not accept un-neutered pets.
However, I have personally kept two dogs over the years, both of whom remained entire and never showed any interest in female dogs, either in season, or not. They also did not display any other behavioural extremes, or health issues. However, this is often the exception and, as an owner, you still may wish to consider other health implications before making your mind up.
Holidays4Dogs can accept entire dogs of any age and will endeavour to find a suitable dog-free carer. Call us to enquire.
There are reputed to be be health benefits to neutering your dog. Neutering is said to prevent womb infections such as pyometra in female dogs.
Pyometra is a very serious, and often life threatening condition. Castration can also prevent certain types of testicular disease in male dogs and spaying female dogs can reduce mammary tumours.
Neutering also reduces the chances of your dog roaming and stops any ‘mess’ produced by an in-season bitch.
Benefits to leaving male and female dogs entire.
Notably, a decreased risk of transitional cell carcinomas (the most common form of bladder cancer in dogs) as well as a lower incidence of incontinence in female dogs, reduced incidence of autoimmune thyroiditis and hypothyroidism in male and female dogs.
Many people believe the early neutering of dogs and bitches can have a profoundly negative effect on canine behaviour. For example, hormones play not only a distinct part in reproduction, they also impact on physical and behavioural aspects of maturity.
Early neutering intervention.
Some behaviourists claim that both physiological and psychological problems can occur because of such early neutering intervention. Some experts are, therefore, against the idea that welfare organisations should neuter rescue puppies early, as a matter of course.
This is due to the removal of sexual organs which produce progesterone. Progesterone raises the level of serotonin – the ‘feel good’ hormone. Studies have shown that aggressive dogs have significantly lower levels of serotonin in their blood.
Different cultural attitudes to neutering pets.
How we think about neutering dogs in the UK is quite different to other countries. In Norway, for example, neutering is prohibited and is considered to be mutilation of a dog.
Similarly, the attitudes to neutering in France are very different to the UK. In France, few people neuter their pets and, indeed, see it as procedure as controversial as ear cropping.
It is very important to consider the pro’s and cons of neutering your pet and equally important to get the timing right.
While we have provided information which covers both sides of the neutering debate, it is essential for owners to discuss their individual dogs with their own vets. We do, however, hope the article has provided a starting point for consideration and discussion.