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Why you should spay or neuter your Puppy
People like us, who spend most of our “free” time rescuing homeless dogs, always offer one big reason for spaying or neutering your dog: the appalling pet overpopulation problem that results in thousands of pets being euthanized (killed) every day.

  • Some 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the U.S.
  • Between four million and six million pets are euthanized every year because they are homeless.
  • That means between 11,000 and 16,000 pets are euthanized every day simply because they are homeless.
  • An animal in a shelter is killed every 1.5 seconds.
    Only one animal in 10 born in the U.S. gets a good home that lasts a lifetime.
Orphaned Puppy

These alarming statistics present a good enough reason, all by themselves, for preventing more pet animal births. Simply put, the widespread failure to spay or neuter dogs results in homelessness, misery, cruelty, and death.

What’s In It for You?

Even though an action may be good for the community, people have a natural tendency to ask what benefits they will receive. Here are some benefits you and your dog can expect when you have your dog spayed or neutered.

Better health. A dog that is spayed or neutered has no chance of developing uterine or testicular cancer; in females, the risk of breast cancer and urinary infections is drastically reduced. Reproductive cancers are common among older dogs that have been bred.

Better behavior. Male dogs that are neutered when young are much less likely to roam, mark their territory (and your belongings) with urine, and show aggression toward other male dogs. Intact (unneutered) male dogs will go to great lengths to get to a female dog in heat—they will dig their way out of yards, break fences and leashes, and cross streets in heavy traffic if a female in heat is in the area.

Calm Dogs

This makes it very hard for a dog to focus on obedience or listening to you, the owner, if all he can think is "I have to mate, I have to mate, I have to mate!!!!!".

Easier care. An unspayed female bleeds for about 10 straight days twice a year. She bleeds on your carpet, your furniture, the interior of your car, and on the ground outside. As soon as she has marked your yard, you can anticipate a constant parade of male dogs who will pace your lawn, howl, and bark. You have a fenced yard? They will dig their way in.

No accidental pregnancies. If your dog accidentally becomes pregnant, you will have to provide additional medical care—for her and the puppies—and be responsible for finding good homes for half a dozen or more offspring.

Myths About Spaying/Neutering

Some people don’t want to spay or neuter their dog because they have heard about some bad “side effects” of the surgery, or because they have picked up some mistaken ideas along the way. There are a number of myths about spaying and neutering. Here are a few of the most common, and the truth about each.

Altering makes a dog fat. Spaying or neutering at the youngest possible age—before the dog has reached sexual maturity—generally has no effect whatsoever on weight. Dogs who undergo the surgery after reaching sexual maturity may show an increased appetite because altering affects hormone balance.

However, dogs who are fat are usually fat because they are fed too much and/or do not get enough exercise.

Dog mother with a litter of 13 puppies

Altering makes a dog lazy. Neutering reduces a male dog’s desire to roam (often over long distances) to find female dogs in heat, and altering can somewhat reduce a dog’s energy level. Altering does not make dogs lazy. Altered dogs are as playful and energetic as intact dogs.

Altering changes a dog’s personality. The only personality changes that result from spaying or neutering are the positive changes described above—no roaming, less tendency to mark territory, and less aggression. Aside from these changes, your dog will be no less like himself than humans are after undergoing vasectomy or oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries).

My dog has a right to experience sex. Sex, for a dog, is nothing more than the result of a powerful instinctive drive to reproduce. People who worry about this issue are usually over-identifying with their dog. This is an excuse often presented by men, who cringe at the very idea of castration—even though it is a painless surgical procedure being performed on their dog, not on them.

It’s a good thing for our children to see the miracle of birth. Bringing more puppies into a world already overburdened with thousands of homeless dogs is not the best way to show your children the birth process. You can show them videos or even let them witness live human births on the internet. You might also want to consider that if you allow your dog to have puppies so that your children can observe the miracle of birth, you should also take your children to an animal shelter, so they can observe the sad results—the thousands of dogs who are killed every day because no one will give them a home.

What about the Expense?

While it is true that surgery for your dog costs money, you should be aware that the cost of altering your dog will save you money in medical care in the long run, because your dog is less likely to develop common diseases that afflict unaltered animals as they age. Also, providing basic veterinary care for the life of your dog—annual exams, required vaccinations, heartworm prevention, and so on—will cost a considerable amount of money, and altering is just another of those expenses.

But because of the seriousness of the pet overpopulation problem, there are countless programs that provide low-cost spaying and neutering for pets. Animal shelters often provide this service, and if your local shelter does not, they can probably tell you about a shelter nearby that does.

Here are some websites that can help you find a low-cost spay/neuter program:

Use any search engine on the web (Yahoo, Excite, Google, etc.) to find extensive lists of clinics by city and state. Try “low-cost neuter” to start your search.

For much more information on spaying and neutering, including a page about this issue written for children, check out www.wonderpuppy.net.


Spay and Neuter Myths by Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer

Spaying or neutering your dog is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Unneutered male dogs that are not able to mate experience frustration, which can lead to aggression. Unspayed female dogs attract unwanted attention every six months. From a psychological and biological point-of-view, it is the best thing for your dog. When you get your dog spayed or neutered, be sure your dog is in a calm and balanced state. Never spay or neuter a frustrated, nervous, tense, aggressive, or anxious dog!

Pet overpopulation and euthanasia are a continuing problem. Be a part of the solution: spay or neuter your pets.

Cesar Millan

In the United States, seven puppies and kittens are born for every one human. As a result, there are just not enough homes for the animals, and four to five million dogs and cats are euthanized every year.

Sterilizing dogs and cats has been hailed as the most effective method for pet population control. You can help save lives by spaying and neutering your pet. If pets can’t breed, they don’t produce puppies that end up in animal shelters to be adopted or euthanized. Currently, over 56% of dogs and approximately 75% of cats entering shelters are put to sleep.

The perpetuation of myths about spaying and neutering and the high cost cause many people to avoid the procedures, but the fact is sterilization makes your dog a better behaved, healthier pet and will save you money in the long run.

Many people, particularly men, have a hard time sterilizing their pets, imposing upon their dogs their own feelings on losing reproductive abilities. A dog will not feel like less of a “man” or “woman” after being sterilized. It will not suffer an identity crisis or mourn the loss of its reproductive capability. Your dog will simply have one less need to fulfill.

A dog’s basic personality is formed more by environment and genetics than by sex hormones, so sterilization will not change your dog’s basic personality, make your dog sluggish or affect its natural instinct to protect the pack. But it will give you a better behaved pet.

Neutered dogs have less desire to roam, mark territory (like your couch!) and exert dominance over the pack. Spayed dogs no longer experience the hormonal changes during heat cycles that turn your pet into a nervous dog that cries incessantly and attracts unwanted male dogs. Sterilized dogs are more affectionate and less likely to bite, run away, become aggressive, or get into a fight.

Another myth is that spaying and neutering cause weight gain. Dogs do not get fat simply by being sterilized. Just like humans, dogs gain weight if they eat too much and exercise too little or if they are genetically programmed to be overweight. The weight gain that people may witness after sterilization is most likely caused by continuing to feed a high energy diet to a dog that is reducing its need for energy as it reaches adult size.

Dogs do not mourn their lost capability to reproduce. They reproduce solely to ensure the survival of their species. They do not raise a puppy for eighteen years. They do not dream of their puppy’s wedding. They do not hope for the comfort of grandchildren in their old age. Female dogs nurse for a few weeks, teach the puppies rules, boundaries, and limitations and send them off to join the pack. Male dogs are not “fathers” in the human sense of the word; they do not even recognize puppies as their own.

As for expense, today there are enough low cost and free spay and neuter programs that this can no longer be an excuse! Even if these programs are not available in your area, the emotional distress and money spent on medical treatments you will save down the line makes it an investment that will be worth every penny.

Sterilization reduces the risk of incidence of a number of health problems that are difficult and expensive to treat. In females, it eliminates the possibility of developing uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the chance of breast cancer. Also, some females experience false pregnancies and uterine infections that can be fatal. Prostate cancer risk is greatly reduced in males. By sterilizing your pet, your dog will live a healthier and longer life.

Efforts by programs such as SPAY/USA already seem to be having an effect. In 1980, approximately 23.4 million animals were euthanized. Twenty-two years later, the estimate was down to 4.6 million. In towns and cities that have already implemented sterilization programs, the number of companion animals who had to be euthanized is showing a decline of 30 to 60 percent.

The truth is that neutered and spayed dogs are better pets. And though we’re heading in the right direction, the problem of euthanasia continues. Be a part of the solution. Spay or neuter your pet today!

 


Reference:

Almosthomerescue.org

Spay and Neuter Myths, Cesar Millan

 


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