Being a responsible dog owner takes commitment. It involves making decisions that are best for both your family and your pets. One of those decisions is whether or not to have your dog spayed or neutered. There are many reasons to get your dog fixed, and these reasons benefit both the animals and the owners.
Some dog owners feel that it may be unkind to have their dogs fixed. The truth is actually quite the opposite. There are so many benefits to having your dog spayed or neutered that, once educated, it’s an easy decision for most dog owners.
A trip to the local humane society or any other animal shelter or rescue group will shed light on one of the most important reasons to spay or neuter. Two million dogs are euthanized each year because there are not enough homes for all of them. They often spend the last days of their lives in a small cage, void of the human love and companionship that they crave. Many of these unnecessary deaths could easily be avoided. By having your dog spayed or neutered, you are doing your part to help curb the ever growing population of unwanted pets.
Some people mistakenly think that because their dog is a purebred that it shouldn’t be fixed. The truth is that many of the dogs in shelters all across the country are purebred. The bottom line is that there are more dogs than homes. That includes purebred dogs.
Think of it this way: For every puppy that is born, that is one dog in a shelter that will not be placed in a home, and will therefore have to be euthanized. The only way to slow this problem is to have pets spayed or neutered.
Decreased Aggression, Less Roaming and Better Behavior
Dogs that are spayed or neutered are less aggressive than in tact dogs. They are less likely to fight, and they are less likely to bite. They also tend to stay closer to home.
Dogs that do not go into heat are far less likely to roam away from home in search of a partner. This greatly decreases the chances of your beloved pet becoming lost, injured or stolen. In addition to keeping your dog close to home, having a dog that is fixed will stop a crowd of male dogs from gathering at your fence, trying to get close to your female dog when she is in heat. Having strange dogs trying to enter your yard can be dangerous for both your pets and for members of your family.
Dogs that are fixed are also much better behaved than dogs which are not. Don’t you just love it when you have company over, and your dog decides that he is madly in love with your guest’s leg? Isn’t it great when you are having a dinner party, and your dog decides he is feeling romantic toward your dining room furniture? These embarrassing situations can be virtually eliminated by having your dogs fixed.
Experts agree that dogs that are spayed or neutered enjoy health benefits that in tact dogs do not. Dogs that are fixed have a much lower chance of developing testicular, mammary or uterine cancer. These diseases can be very costly to treat and they can, regardless of treatment, often prove fatal.
Having female dogs fixed will also lower her chances of being afflicted with certain types of infections. The greatest reduction in infections is present in dogs that are fixed prior to their first heat cycle.
The Miracle of Birth
Some people choose not to spay or neuter their dogs because they want their children to be able to follow the pregnancy of their pet, and then be present at the birth. These pet owners have decided that the only way to teach their children about the birds and the bees is to bring unwanted animals into the world. They say “We want our children to be able to see the birthing process.” Those parents should ask themselves if they are also going to let their children watch as unwanted dogs are euthanized?
Instead, perhaps those parents could rent a video if they want their children to see a birth. Don’t teach children that it is acceptable to bring unwanted animals into the world.
Eliminates Heat Cycles
When your pet doesn’t have a heat cycle, you avoid blood stains on your carpet and furniture as well as the crying and aggression that come with the heat cycle.
Remember that it is ideal to have your dog fixed BEFORE they have their first heat cycle. Doing so provides the maximum health benefits for your dog. The first heat cycle normally occurs somewhere between six and twelve months of age.
Clearly, there are several compelling reasons to get your pet spayed or neutered. The procedure is usually done as an outpatient surgery with the pet being dropped off in the morning and picked up in the afternoon. Some dogs are a bit less active for a day or two following surgery, but others want to jump right back into their normal routine of romping and playing. Even if your pet seems anxious to get back in the action, remember that vets recommend that activity be limited for at least a day or two after the surgery.
The procedure costs around $150-$200 when done at the vets, but there are also options for those on a limited budget. Most local chapters for the SPCA offer low cost spay and neuter clinics where the procedure is performed for between $40-$60. Some locations also offer programs for low income families. Where such programs are available, qualifying families may often do not have to pay anything for the procedure. If you can afford it, you may want to go to the vet, because the clinics do not normally offer pain pills to help keep your dog his most comfortable in the days following the surgery.
The reasons to get your dog fixed are for the benefit of both dog and owner. Don’t put off this simple procedure that can improve the lives of both you and your pet.