Spaying or neutering allows for reproductive control of dogs in order to keep the population from spiking with the eventual need to use euthanizing to control the population. Aside from population control, spaying and neutering has other benefits, including, reduction in aggression and level of energy, and elimination of vaginal bleeding for females. On the other hand, there can be negative consequences such as weight gain, and lethargy.
Benefits of Spaying a Female Dog
- Unwanted pregnancies: By sterilizing your dog, you can help prevent unwanted pregnancies which can, and generally due occur, due to the dog’s strong desire to mate which causes them to escape to find a mate.
- Eliminates the chances of developing cancer in the reproductive system: Spaying removes the uterus of the female dog, consequently resulting in the elimination of the possibility of cancer developing in that part of the body.
- Prevention of uterine infections: Since spaying removes the uterus, once the procedure has been performed, the possibility of uterine infection no longer exists.
- Reduction of the possibility of developing breast cancer: Due to hormonal changes that spaying causes, there is less of a chance that a spayed dog will develop breast cancer.
Benefits of Neutering a Male Dog
- Reduced desire to roam: Dogs that are not neutered have the strong urge to mate, and will make attempts at escaping in order to find a mate. This can not only result in unwanted pregnancies, but can also be dangerous for dogs that escape the safety of the back yard or home, and subject themselves to the car traffic, and other dangers.
- Elimination of arousal by female dogs: Since neutering will eliminate the desire to mate, it will result in calmness and agitation when around female dogs.
The Best Age to Spay or Neuter Dogs
In general, a dog should be spayed or neutered between the ages of 6-12 months. This is not to say that the procedure cannot be delayed, but this is the age where the most positive impact can be felt, especially when it comes to population control.
Since spaying or neutering provides a variety of health benefits, it is ideal to do the procedure before or early adulthood. Even though the surgical procedures can be carried out during adulthood and old age, doing so will carry greater risk of complications and will require a longer recovery period. Usually, dogs that are spayed or neutered when they are older, have the procedure performed due to health complications such as cancer.
Unless you are a breeder, there is usually no good reason to not spay or neuter your dog. Even though it will have costs upfront, it has the potential of saving you a bundle down the road.