Are you thinking of neutering your dog? (Pros and Cons of Neutering) (2023)

For the majority of dog owners who share their life with a female dog, neutering is one of the biggest decisions we will make regarding their health.

The decision to voluntarily present a healthy dog ​​for surgery that cannot be reversed is a big one.

The issue of neutering is also controversial with many different viewpoints as to when to do it, should it be done at all and what are the short and long term health benefits and disadvantages of spaying a bitch.

In this guide we will try to answer the most important questions about neutering. Such as:

  • Should you do it?
  • If yes, when should you?
  • What are the effects?
  • Are there any caveats?

Here are the most important things you need to know about neutering a female dog.

Are you thinking of neutering your dog? (Pros and Cons of Neutering) (1)


The castration controversy

There are obvious concerns about letting female dogs live without removing their internal reproductive organs.

From probable chances of various types of cancer to unwanted pregnancies, there are far too many factors to consider.

There was for exampleControlling reportsof the canine population to contain viruses such as rabies.

Considering how dogs tend to become quite carnivorously active in their early reproductive years, having your dog spayed becomes a safe bet.

Of course, there are also disadvantages to consider. Don't you really want your dog to have offspring?

(Video) Dog Neuter Explained by a Vet | The reason to neuter and reasons not to neuter

Do you think that despiteMake planscaring for your pet, might it become difficult to manage as their numbers increase? Don't fret, those are fair reasons too.

Anyhow, here's a complete picture of what the pros and cons are and whether you end up neutering your pet - when it should be appropriate.

Are you thinking of neutering your dog? (Pros and Cons of Neutering) (2)

The potential benefits of neutering

Obviously there are many benefits to making sure your dog is neutered. Here are some of them.

Neutering eliminates the risk of pregnancy

Dr. Aileen Ruiz, a medical practitioner and hospital owner of The Big Easy Animal Hospital: “Dog overpopulation is already a serious problem. The health of the mother can also be at risk during childbirth.”

"Some new mothers can have serious complications giving birth to puppies and even develop health problems while breastfeeding."

Prevention of the oestrus cycle or reduction of the hot period

The study ofRyan Lleraet al.: “Most dogs come into heat twice a year, although the intervals can vary between breeds and from dog to dog. If you spay your bitch you will prevent her from being in heat.”

When a bitch is in heat, her genitals swell and she emits an odor that can be traced back a mile, drawing unwanted attention from male canines.

Neutering makes a dog calmer

Dr. Sue Hankerdfrom Auburn Animal Hospital: "Without the urge to mate, your dog may be calmer and not prone to an incessant urge to seek out a mate, and will no longer attract males."

"It's also easier to get along with neutered dogs. They tend to be gentler and more loving.”

Neutering makes a dog cleaner

Dogs do not have bloody discharge for several days when they are in heat. Without proper protective products, discharge can stain sofas, bedding, and carpets.

Neutering keeps your dog healthier

A study byA.K. Patnaik and P.G. Greenlee: Neutered dogs tend to have fewer health problems. Spaying is the removal of the ovaries and uterus. Without these organs, ovarian cysts, uterine infections, and cancer of the reproductive organs are no longer a problem.

Further studies have shown that dogs that are spayed before puberty have a significantly lower risk of developing breast cancer than dogs that are not spayed or dogs that are spayed later in life.

Neutering your dog is also very inexpensive

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ASPCA, the first humanist society founded in North America: “The cost of neutering your pet is far less than thatcostto have and care for a litter.”

(Video) The Truth About Neutering Your Dog: Pros and Cons

Are you thinking of neutering your dog? (Pros and Cons of Neutering) (3)

If you are caring for a pregnant pooch, you should expect your vet bills, dog food and grooming bills to increase. There is also a small risk of dying during childbirth or immediately afterward. Additionally, complications during your dog's pregnancy can result in even more vet bills and additional health risks for the newborn puppies. Although neutering your dog is inexpensive, it is best to insure your pet. Pet liability insurance offers you adequate financial protection in the event that your dog has serious illnesses. Thus, pet insurance helps you to avoid the financial burden in these times.

Neutering offers behavioral benefits

Research has also found that there are a number of behavioral benefits to having your dog neutered. These include less vocalization, reduced aggression, reduced tagging, and less desire to leave home.

Amy Blumen, DVMfrom WebMD: "They're also less likely to engage in turf markings like spraying urine around your home."

Spaying prevents deadly infections of the uterus

Emily Finn, DVMfrom The MSPCA-Angell: “One of the most common reproductive emergencies seen in a veterinary emergency room is a condition known asPyometra.“

Are you thinking of neutering your dog? (Pros and Cons of Neutering) (4)

Almost 1 in 4 intact women will develop this infection. The uterus swells with toxic pus and the only cure is emergency castration.

Surgery is dangerous when a middle-aged or elderly dog ​​already has the infection. If left untreated, this disease can very well kill your pet.

Another obvious benefit of neutering a dog is that ovarian disease and diseases dependent on sex steroids, including metropathy, no longer occur, as shown in the study conducted bySebastian Arlt, Axel Wehrend and Iris M Reichler.

Castration provides protection against breast tumors

Dr. Ruth Colwillfrom Colwill Lab: "Sparing your bitch before her first heat cycle will significantly reduce her chances of developing mammary tumors."

Mammary tumor is the canine equivalent of breast cancer. Early neutering reduces estrogen production, leading many veterinarians and scientists to cast estrogen in a negative light in relation to breast cancer.

Neutering prevents false pregnancy in dogs

Malcolm Weir, DVM, MSc, MPHfrom VCA Hospitals: "Signs of a false pregnancy usually begin four to nine weeks after the previous hot spell and mimic the signs of a real pregnancy."

Are you thinking of neutering your dog? (Pros and Cons of Neutering) (5)

False pregnancy, pseudopregnancy, pseudopregnancy, or pseudocyesis are all terms that refer to a display of maternal behavior associated with the physical signs of pregnancy after estrus in an un-neutered bitch who is in fact not pregnant.

(Video) New Research: The Best Age To Spay Or Neuter A Dog

The possible disadvantages of neutering

To be fair, there seem to be more downsides to neutering than the benefits above. In fairness, you should be aware of what happens when your dog isspayed or neutered- including the following disadvantages.

Neutering means sterilization and fewer unwanted dogs

Neutering will result in spaying your bitch and she will no longer have the ability to conceive.

Are you thinking of neutering your dog? (Pros and Cons of Neutering) (6)

Dr. Jon Callananof the Callanan Veterinary Group: "The overpopulation of unwanted animals leads to the extermination of over 13 million dogs and cats each year."

Spaying can cause hypothyroidism and obesity

Ernst Ward, DVM, an award-winning veterinarian practitioner and speaker: “Some pets may gain weight after spaying because your dog's endocrine system is compromised. One of the more well-known side effects is the risk of hypothyroidism.”

Are you thinking of neutering your dog? (Pros and Cons of Neutering) (7)

Low thyroid levels in a bitch will lead to weight gain and obesity, which is difficult to combat even with proper nutrition.

Your dog may also become lethargic, tired, more prone to skin and ear infections, high blood cholesterol, slow heartbeat and hair loss.

Neutering can increase the risk of other diseases

DR. Benjamin L. Hartand team at the University of California: "Spanning your dog was observed in the study to increase the risk of deadly canine cancers, including lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma."

"Hemangiosarcoma disease in particular affects the dog's spleen and heart, which would normally be protected by your dog's reproductive organs."

Michel Welton, a dog trainer and dog breed consultant: “Early neutering triples the risk of bone cancer, a deadly cancer that occurs primarily in large and giant dogs. It can also cause urinary incontinence in up to 20% of castrated women.”

If your dog is spayed before his bladder is fully developed, weak bladder muscles may begin to leak in middle age.

Lynette Hart, professor at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine: “If spaying is performed at the wrong age, the risk of hip dysplasia and ruptured ligaments increases. Early neutering causes leg bones to grow unevenly.”

The reproductive hormones help your dog's bones, joints and internal organs to develop properly. If you remove these reproductive hormones too soon, they won't have enough time to do their valuable work.

(Video) Dog Castration Pros & Cons

Clinical Team ofvet: "Early castration can affect the size and shape of a woman's 'private areas'."

“An early neutered dog's vulva remains small and may even be sunken into their body instead of protruding as it should. An abnormal vulva has skin folds that can trap bacteria, leading to recurrent infections.”

The risks and their complications

Dr. Elizabeth Lynch, employed veterinarian at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm: "Older animals, particularly those with additional health conditions, are at higher risk and more likely to have complications."

veterinary team ofMadison Animal Care Hospital: "All surgery carries risks and although neutering is considered very safe, it is no exception."

Your veterinarian will thoroughly assess the risk to your dog before approving this procedure for him. However, you should still be prepared for the risk of complications either during the procedure or while your dog is recovering.

American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF): “The risks are not related to the surgery itself, but to pre-existing medical conditions your pet may have. So we have to make sure your pet is healthy before surgery.”

"Complications can occur during the procedure, but this is also the case with any other type of surgery and is relatively rare."

The easier way to find out would be to ask your vet directly. While your vet will have what is best for your dog in mind and provide you with a list of pros and cons, they will also provide appropriate windows in which to neuter your dog.

You must consider all of the above cons of neutering before committing to anything specific. Keep in mind that while you can spay your dog as early as eight weeks, there are obvious downsides and hormonal imbalances that can occur.

Older dogs are more difficult to neuter. You must make valid and detailed assessments of biochemical profiles and make valid recommendations as to when it is okay to neuter your dog.

Preparing for surgery

After you neuter your dog, there are a few things you need to do before the surgery is complete - starting with the blood work.

Yes, you must ensure that all blood tests are intact and that all measurable values ​​are within the healthy range. Also, make sure you create a valid profile for things like jaundice or any other medical condition that might be a hindrance in the post-operative period.

Also, your dog should be fasted 8-9 hours prior to the surgical procedure. This may be difficult to explain, but you must do what is necessary.

expectations after the operation

Your homework is only partially done. There are a variety of post-surgical elements that you need to deal with. This is what the picture looks like.

(Video) Intact dogs are no more aggressive than others, but other factors need to be taken into account

  • Painkillers are usually provided on an SOS basis. Be sure before giving it to your dog and consult your vet first.
  • Nausea is a fairly expected phenomenon after surgery. Your dog may not want to eat for a few days, so bear with it.
  • The stitches are removed about a week and a half after the operation. Be sure to revisit the clinic and keep appointments as your vet sees fit.
  • You need to monitor her so she doesn't come into contact with her bites. If she gets really restless and starts licking the stitches, you need to put her on the proverbial "shame cone."
  • Always check for any type of abscess or leakage from the stitches. Make sure your pet's vital signs are intact - body temperature, blood pressure, etc.

Final word on the decision to neuter your bitch

Whether or not you see castration as a solution is your choice. We're sure you have what's best for your pet in mind - ergo you'll thoroughly understand the pros and cons before making that call.

The aim of this guide to neutering your dog is to give you a balanced view of the pros and cons of this very common but not to be taken lightly veterinary procedure.


What are the cons to neutering your dog? ›

Increased health risks: While both spaying and neutering come with certain health benefits, they also can lead to a higher risk of other ailments. Some studies indicate older dogs have an increased risk of cruciate ligament rupture, hip dysplasia, incontinence, and tumor development after neutering or spaying.

Is it good or bad to neuter a dog? ›

By having your dog or cat sterilised, you do your part to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens. Spaying and neutering prevent unwanted litters, help protect against some serious health problems, and may reduce many of the behavioural problems associated with the mating instinct.

What are the pros of neutering a dog? ›

Spay & Neuter Benefits
  • Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life. ...
  • Neutering provides major health benefits for your male. ...
  • Your spayed female won't go into heat. ...
  • Your male dog won't want to roam away from home. ...
  • Your neutered male will be much better behaved. ...
  • Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.

Do neutered dogs live longer? ›

A University of Georgia study, based on the medical records of more than 70,000 animal patients, found that the life expectancy of neutered male dogs was 13.8% longer and that of spayed female dogs was 26.3% longer.

What are the negative effects of neutering? ›

Neutering is a reasonably safe process; however, you can expect sharp changes in your dog's attitude right when you bring them home from the procedure. These side effects can range from increased aggression, depression, anxiety, or even clinginess; however, they only last for a short amount of time.

Do dogs feel bad after neutering? ›

It's normal for your dog to feel a bit tired or queasy immediately after being spayed or neutered because of the anesthesia. Your pooch will also be provided with pain medications to help alleviate any pain. They will also have a reduced appetite for the first 24 hours after the procedure.

What are the negatives of spaying and neutering? ›

However, potential health problems associated with spaying and neutering have also been identified, including an increased risk of prostatic cancer in males; increased risks of bone cancer and hip dysplasia in large-breed dogs associated with sterilization before maturity; and increased incidences of obesity, diabetes, ...

Will neutering improve behavior? ›

Neutering your male dog not only helps to control the pet population, but it also has valuable behavior and medical benefits. It can minimize numerous unwanted behaviors, prevent frustrations, and improve your dog's quality of life.

Do dogs lose their personality after getting neutered? ›

In the end, your dog will still be the same dog that you love, even after it has been neutered. Your dog's personality and energy level are determined by its environment and genetic makeup, not its reproductive hormones. Most often the only changes that you recognize in your pet will be a decrease in negative habits.

Do male dogs get bigger after being neutered? ›

Does Spaying or Neutering Cause Stunting? Having your dog spayed or neutered early will not stunt your puppy's growth, but it might affect the joints of large breed dogs. Studies show that early spay/neuter does affect the growth plate, delaying its closure and causing dogs to grow taller than they should have.

At what age are most dogs neutered? ›

The traditional age for neutering is six to nine months. However, puppies as young as eight weeks can be neutered as long as there aren't other health problems.

Do male dogs get calmer after being neutered? ›

Can Spaying or Neutering Make a Dog Less Hyper? The short answer is that no, your dog isn't likely to be less hyperactive after getting spayed or neutered. It won't change their personality much, if at all. Each dog has its own positive and negative social habits.

What is the best age to neuter a male dog? ›

The recommended age to neuter a male dog is between six and nine months. However, some pet owners have this procedure done at four months. Smaller dogs reach puberty sooner and can often have the procedure done sooner.

Why do vets recommend neutering? ›

By having your dog or cat sterilized, you will do your part to prevent the birth of unwanted puppies and kittens. Spaying and neutering prevent unwanted litters, help protect against some serious health problems, and may reduce many of the behavioral problems associated with the mating instinct.


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