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The short answer is, yes. You should. Unless you have purebred dogs that are going to be bred to other purebred dogs of the same breed, you definitely should. Every year, countless puppies end up in animal shelters because of irresponsible breeding. They end up there because people buy into misconceptions like “she should have a litter before she is spayed,” or “he should be able to mate at least once before he is neutered.” Neither statement is true.
Now, let’s talk about a few other misconceptions about spaying and neutering.
Wrong. It is actually considerably easier on your female dog if she is spayed before she comes into heat for the first time.
Why? There is absolutely nothing to suggest that seeing a dog have puppies improves a child’s development. And if you think otherwise, and I can’t convince you that you’re wrong, show them a video, and get your dog spayed.
If you weren’t prepared to spay or neuter, maybe you should have reconsidered getting a dog in the first place. That said, though, many vets offer discounted spaying and neutering procedures for low-income families.
The American Veterinary Medical Association actually recommends spaying and neutering between the ages of two to four months. The bigger a dog gets, the more invasive the surgery and the longer the recovery time, so don’t wait to spay or neuter.
Actually, you probably can. You can have your dog spayed as soon as the puppies are weaned. Depending on the breed, this could be anywhere from four to eight weeks.
Actually, the opposite is true. A spayed female will have less risk of breast cancer, and no risk of pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus that is invariably fatal if not treated. The treatment for pyometra, in any case, is spaying, so why not do it before you have to? Neutered males have no risk of testicular cancer, and a significantly reduced rate of prostate cancer.
Spaying and neutering also lessens the chance of behavioral problems like aggression, marking and roaming.
This is not true. Not only will your dog have no pain during the surgery, your vet will make sure that he or she is given medication post-surgery that will ensure a pain-free recovery. As a footnote, please do not give your dog human medication for pain, either post-neutering or for any other reason unless advised by your vet. Human medications can be toxic to your dog. In fact, some medications, like Tylenol, can be fatal.
No. Dogs are no different from people in that they gain weight because they eat too much or they don’t get enough exercise. Spaying and neutering has nothing to do with it. Make sure your dog has a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, and there is no reason why he or she should gain weight simply by virtue of no longer being able to reproduce.
Again, no. This is not true. In fact, most police dogs are spayed or neutered. Your dog protects you out of love and loyalty, not because of what exists between his legs or in her belly. Love and protect your dog, and your dog will do the same for you. Dogs protect their people out of respect and devotion. Their reproductive condition has absolutely nothing to do with it.
You have no reason not to spay or neuter your dog, and plenty of reasons to have it done. Spaying or neutering will not affect your dog’s personality or weight, or anything else. Your vet will make sure that your dog is not in pain during or after the procedure. And by spaying or neutering, you will dramatically reduce the risk of accidental breeding that could lead to more unwanted animals in shelters.
Do the responsible thing. Spay or neuter.
So if you have a puppy, make sure that he or she is spayed or neutered in a timely fashion, and if you just want to do something wonderful for puppies who are living in animal shelters, buy a bag and donate it.
Spaying and neutering not only helps to ensure your dog’s health, it prevents animal shelters from being crowded with puppies who were born because people did not spay or neuter. Unless you are breeding pure stock, your dog does not have to have a litter. There is nothing sadder than a puppy languishing in an animal shelter because an irresponsible dog owner thought it was a good idea to avoid spaying or neutering. Please, if you love animals, and I know you do or else you would not be reading this blog, don’t be that owner.