If you’ve recently added a furry member to your family, or have a dog who is intact, you may be wondering: should I neuter my dog? The vets at East Valley Animal Hospital always recommend spaying or neutering your pets, but why? What can you and your dog gain from neutering?
Organizations like ASPCA and Humane Society are major advocates for spaying and neutering pets, and for good reason, as there are many reasons why neutering is important to your dog’s health and wellbeing. Some of those reasons include health precautions, possible longer lifespan, and even calming of behavioral issues.
Safeguarding Your Dog’s Health
Health benefits are one of the most important reasons why you should neuter your dog. Neutering is specifically the process of removing a male dog’s testicles. Although this may sound a little cruel, in reality, you are reducing the risk of numerous health issues that could occur later on in life.
Testicular Cancer: This type of cancer is fairly common in older intact dogs. By removing the testicles, you remove the chance of your dog ever contracting this type of cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer: Neutered dogs have a much lower risk of getting pancreatic cancer, another common type of cancer in dogs.
Prostate Issues: Studies have found that neutered dogs are less likely to develop prostate issues, including prostate cancer.
Eliminating Risky Behavior
Another important benefit of neutering your dog is that it can help curb unwanted behaviors. Intact male dogs can be territorial, high energy, and even difficult to manage on leash and around the home.
Unneutered male dogs tend to roam to find a mate, which can lead to escape artists and bolters. While neutering may not resolve all behavioral issues, it can help with managing them, which is another good reason to neuter your dog.
In your research about why you should neuter your dog, you may have come across some reasons why people think you shouldn’t. Let’s take a look at those concerns and clear the air.
1. Neutering Your Dog is Expensive
In the broader scope of things, neutering is actually one of the more affordable surgeries. It is certainly more affordable than the cost of treating testicular or prostate cancer, which can be common health complications in intact dogs. Ultimately, the benefits of this surgery outweigh the cost. Most shelters and rescue agencies will spay and neuter dogs before adoption. If you are planning on adopting a dog from a shelter, this cost will likely be covered by the adoption fee.
2. Neutering Your Dog Will Cause Obesity
Obesity in pets can occur for multiple reasons, but neutering your dog is not one of them. While neutering may cause changes in metabolism, this doesn’t mean your dog will become obese. As long as you are responsible with their diet and exercise, it is highly unlikely that your dog will have issues with weight gain post neutering.
3. Neutering Your Dog Can Cause Health Issues
In certain cases, there are concerns regarding health issues like joint problems that might occur after a dog is neutered. Ultimately this comes down to when you get your dog neutered. For different breeds and sizes, it may be ideal to wait until a certain age to neuter your dog. Consulting with your veterinarian about the best time to neuter your dog will ensure that these health concerns won’t be a problem.
If you have questions about neutering your dog, or need advice on the best time to neuter, the staff at East Valley Animal Hospital in Gilbert would love to see you and your furry friend! We are committed to providing your pet with the best veterinary care and setting them up for success in all areas of their health. You can schedule an appointment online or by giving us a call at 480-568-2462!
Photo by Mike Burke on Unsplash