Spaying or Neutering Your Dog FAQ - PetsCareTips.Com
PetsCareTips veterinary experts answer commonly asked questions about spaying or neutering your dog.
An estimated 5 million to 8 million animals are euthanized in shelters across this country every year. Many organizations are trying to decrease that number by opening low-cost spay/neuter clinics to prevent more litters of puppies needing homes. One such organization is LifeLine Animal Project, an Atlanta-based non-profit shelter and clinic which has performed more than 25,000 spay/neuters since 2005. PetsCareTips talked to executive director Rebecca Guinn to understand concerning the myths and facts surrounding spaying and neutering. People who wait to spay their dogs until after their second heat significantly increase the chance of mammary tumors in their pets.
A: Shelter euthanasia is the number one killer of companion animals. Spaying and neutering may be the only way to reduce or eliminate that. Their behavior is really a function of genetics or instinct, environment, and training. And it’s much better for you because it will make your daily life easier if your pet is spayed or neutered. Animals can be mwill beerable -- and create you miserable -- if they are in heat. And there’s always the issue of how to proceed with the puppies.
There’s also the financial side. Just in the Atlanta area alone, more than $15 million is spent annually dealing with stray and unwanted pets. That’s your tax dollars.
Q: Shouldn’t I let my dog have a litter before We spay them?
A: No. Absolutely not. All the medical evidence suggests a dog ought to be spayed before their first heat. It’s easier for them then because it’s an easier surgery at that time.
And the problem with letting your dog have a litter is you’ve just instantly contributed to the pet overpopulation issue. Now you have to find homes for all those puppies. And for each home you find, there’s one less home for a dog that was already born. Plus, you can’t be responsible for what the new owners do. So unless you spay or neuter all the puppies end up beingfore placing them, the new owners may let their dog breed as well. Right now you’ve added even more dogs to your pet overpopulation problem.
The only responsible thing to do, given the problem in this country, would be to not allow your pets to replicate.
Some people say they want their children to witness birth. OK, you can still do this. There are plenty of rescue groups out there trying to help animals that have been abandoned by irresponsible owners. Many have pregnant animals. Volunteer to foster a pregnant dog. You’ll be helping the group along with the dog, and you’ll give your kids an opportunity to visit a litter becomeing born and raised.
Q: Should I let my dog have a heat before We spay her?
A: Medically, it’s better to spay your dog before their first heat. It greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors.
Q: Why should I have my dog spayed or neutered? Once they’ve had several heats, intact female dogs have an one out of four potential for developing mammary tumors.
Q: Is it OK to spay my dog when they certainly are a puppy?
A: We spay or neuter dogs at our clinic at 8 weeks as long as they weigh at least two pounds. Of course, it varies by breed. Some of the tiny breeds have to be done later. But larger breeds are often ready by two months old.
There are still some people who say pediatric spay/neuter is dangerous, but that’s incorrect. It has become much more widely accepted. Those ideas about needing to wait until after a dog is half a year or a year old are actually antiquated and the evidence is always to the contrary. Even the American Veterinary Medical Association supports early spay/neuter.
The puppies recover a lot faster than adults. It’s an easier surgery for them, also it reduces the rate of disease down the road. It’s just a much easier procedure on younger animals.
Q: It can cost hundreds of dollars to get a dog spayed or neutered. I may’t afford that. What can I really do?
A: There are a lot of low-cost options all over the country. We have a low-cost spay/neuter clinic in the Thetlanta area and we spay dogs for as little as $70. The ASPCA keeps a database of low-cost options on its web site. It is possible to put in your zip code, and it'll give you all your options inside a certain radius. Click on the “pet care” tab to check out the low-cost and free spay/neuter database.
Q: Don’t dogs get fat once you spay or neuter them?
A: Dogs, just like people, get fat when they eat too much and don’t get enough exercise. And that’s something you can control. Generally, spayed and neutered pets live longer, happier lives.
Q: My dog is a guard canine. EASILY spay or neuter them, will that stop them from protecting my home?
A: Spaying or neutering is not going to affect your dog’s desire or even ability to protect your home or protect you. Guard dogs are trained to be guard dogs.
It’s also better for your pet’s health.
Many, many police canine units spay or neuter their dogs. There’s no correlation between spaying or neutering an animal and its ability to protect you.
But people also need to understand that unless their dog has been trained to be a guard dog, it isn’t a guard dog. Most dogs are naturally protective, but in the event that you truly require a dog for protection, as well as your canine isn’t trained, you’re at an increased risk.
Q: Will my dog stop running away from home easily neuter them?
A: Well, you really should keep your dog confined. But neutering certainly does decrease the instinct to roam. That’s because unneutered dogs are constantly seeking to match up with unspayed females. It also will decrease your pet’s urge to escape your home or get away your fence. However in this day and age, there’s no reason to permit a dog to freely roam the streets. It’s dangerous.
Q: My dog leaves marks all over my house. EASILY neuter them, will that stop?
A: Neutering a dog will decrethese and could eliminate that kind of marking, that is a territorial behavior. That’s what they’re doing; they’re marking their territory to ward off other male dogs that could come into it and obtain their female. So neutering may eliminate the problem. But there also could be other medical issues or end up becomeinghavioral issues involved at this time. So it’s an extremely good argument for neutering early, prior to the animal reaches sexual maturity and the marking behavior is becoming habit.
Q: Will spaying or neutering my dog prevent future illnesses?
A: Yes, absolutely. In females, it greatly decreases mammarian cancer and completely eliminates uterine cancers and diseases. In males, it eliminates testicular cancers or diseases. You should use portion manage and take your dog for a walk.
A discussion with your vet can help determine when it is best to spay and neuter your dog. There might be cases in which waiting is indicated.