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The Importance of Being Neutered

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 9:15am
curious looking black and tan puppy

Whether you’ve recently adopted a dog or you’re considering it, one of the most important health decisions you’ll make is whether to spay or neuter your new pet.

When it comes to “fixing” male dogs, specifically, there’s a lot of misinformation swirling around. (“It’ll make my dog fat” and “it’ll change his personality” are two common myths that we’d like to bust forever!) Some pet parents even express guilt over neutering their dogs. But trust us, he doesn’t mind, and here’s why:

Neutering provides major health benefits.
Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male pup prevents testicular cancer and significantly reduces the chance of certain prostate problems as he ages.

Your neutered male will be more at peace.
Neutering won’t affect your dog’s working abilities, friendliness or playfulness! However, it will likely reduce undesirable, sometimes dangerous behaviors including urine marking, attempts to roam away from home, aggression toward other dogs and inappropriate mounting. These things stress everybody out—including him.

He won’t become a deadbeat dad.
Every year, millions of dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. You wouldn’t want your beloved pooch to be responsible for creating yet another unplanned litter, would you?

Many states and counties have established safe, low-cost spay/neuter programs that make surgery easily affordable and accessible. To find an affordable program near you, search our Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Provider Database. If you're in New York City, the ASPCA mobile spay/neuter clinic offers partially or fully subsidized spay/neuter surgery for low-income dog and cat owners in the five boroughs.

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Dan

Wow, I'm impressed! Very well written and thorough. I totally agree with you :)

Marcia

Good points Chokey, my Vet gave me the same information about my golden retriever. Do not neuter before 1 year of age. He also said that it was important to wait because their growth plates need to finish developing. My female is spayed, she went into heat right after we rescued her at 9 mos. old- that was a surprise. We waited until that was over. My male is just 1 year and I don't think that I will neuter him. My first male died of osteosarcoma at ten years old.

Voice for the v...

This crap is NOT true! Increased adverse reactions to vaccinations? Yeah right! All the things that u have listed are actually what NOT spay n neutering your pets will cause.

Dan

My dog is intact (un-neutered), just thought I'd share...

Here's another myth floating around: not all dogs get testicle cancer nor mammary cancer if left intact. It depends on genetics and diet. Also what the ASPCA neglects to say, altering your dog under 1 year old causes pituitary problems, higher risk of illness and urinary/bowl incontinence when older. When you neuter or spay, try to have it done when he/she is a year old, when they are sexually developed. It's safer for your pet. Spaying/neutering doesn't always effect a dogs energy and temperament: I've had a rescue dog neutered and he was a complete sweetheart and I had another rescue dog who was neutered and he was extremely aggressive (we loved him anyway).

As for my un-neutered dog, I'm keeping him intact because he behaves wonderfully, is healthy and good temperament so I'm planning on breeding him. He's a purebred I purchased from a highly regarded show dog breeder with great lines, soundness and conformation. However, I'll put it this way - if you don't plan on breeding your dog or if you can't be a responsible owner (have your dog in a safe, fenced yard, leashed when walked etc.), then neuter/spay is best, but if you can be a responsible owner then keep your dog intact if you want. To be a responsible dog owner doesn't mean spaying/neutering is mandatory and keeping an intact dog is irresponsible etc. Neutering/spaying does not effect the dogs lifespan, altered dogs don't live longer, it's genetics that play that role. I've had several dogs, all of whom lived a very long time :)

Sandy

I have had every dog that owned neutered. I got it done early in their lives. They were all the friendly energetic happy dogs. They all lived past 15 years old and had very few health issues.

Sandy

I have had every dog that owned neutered. I got it done early in their lives. They were all the friendly energetic happy dogs. They all lived past 15 years old and had very few health issues.

Diane

For years I have worked with not only dog and cat adoption agencies, but also with non-profits that focus on spay and neuter assistance programs. My faith in humanity often rests on how I see the general population perceive their role in caring for their pets and for each other. And to that point, I can honestly say that I have witnessed the vast majority of opinions, on the necessity of spaying and neutering, incrementally improving over the last 20 years as more and more educate themselves on the subject. It is wonderful! However, every person that considers taking on the responsibility of a pet needs to do their research on the importance of this subject. We must keep progressing the spay and neuter movement forward, adding more and more people to the cause everyday!
One other note: It is possible that a botched spay or neuter surgery can indeed contribute to a perceived personality change in a cat or dog because the animal is in pain or discomfort. However, we can not allow a few vets mistakes to undermine good judgement. Millions (that is not an exaggeration) of unwanted pets are locted away in cages across the USA or roaming the streets, struggling to survive. Estimates of feral cat populations in our cites are staggering! Spay and Neutering as many cats and dogs before they "make babies" is the only way that we are ever going to work our way out of this national dilemma.

India

Well said.

Gina

Always neuter your pets. Cats or dogs. Get it done as early as possible. The changes you speak of are more in your minds than the animal's. I have had both sexes of cats and dogs and I have never seen a negative difference. If the pet gets fat it is because you feed it the wrong food or too much. Use age appropriate food like Blue Buffalo all natural no by products or grains. It cost more but you save it in vet bills later on. I worked at the ASPCA in the 70's and the horrors I witnessed I will not ever forget. DO NOT LET YOUR ANIMAL BREED OR BUY FROM PUPPY FARMS..THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF GREAT LOVING ANIMALS WAITING FOR A HOME. ADOPT!!!!!

Anthony

I would love to neuter my dog but his previous owners had me sign a contract which states if at any time they decide to breed him they can thus if I get him fixed will be held accountable and he's a mixed breed and I've come to love him so much that when I acquire my first home and I want some of his puppies and unlike some pet owners I keeping the entire family together. I have other pets who've had babies and currently taking care of all of them and giving just one away is not an option.

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