After lasts week’s post about how to care for female dogs in heat, in this article we are going to discuss the pro’s and con’s of neutering male dogs and the effects this can have for you and your dog. Neutering is usually considered beneficial for your dog, in terms of health as well as preventing puppies. Although it is know that castration can lead to deteriorated health in a dog. Our aim is to consider the pro’s and con’s, so you can make an informed decision based on the facts.
WHAT IS NEUTERING?
Neutering or Castration is a process that involves the surgical removal of a ale dog’s testicles, in order to make him sterile, technically called an ‘orchectomy’. The operation itself involves putting the dog under anaesthetic and the process usually takes a few hours to complete, although your dog may be required to stay at the vetinary practice for up to 24 hours post-operation, just for observational purposes. This highly depends on the dogs age and overall health – dogs in good health can expect to go home on the same day as the surgery. The operation is a common procedure and with today’s technology and health standards, is considered to be a routine surgery without complications.
PRO’S OF NEUTERING YOUR DOG
The main and most obvious reason for neutering your dog is to prevent him from impregnating female dogs, hence resulting in potentially unwanted puppies. Overpopulation of dogs is becoming a real concern and many people try to control this situation from escalating by eliminating the chances of reproduction. The second most common reason for having your dog castrated is purely for behavioural purposes – many believe that in most cases, it actually improves the quality of the dog’s life. Neutered dogs are less likely to act aggressively towards humans and other dogs, and less likely to bite and react negatively. Dogs who have their testicles intact are prone to fighting, biting, refusing food and generally displaying provocative behaviour. They commonly urinate as a sign of marking their territory, are known to run away or excessively chase female dogs in heat due to the build up of testosterone in their body. Some dogs roam of and will do almost anything to find a female dog, and will fight with any potential threat or competition towards the female.
Other than the prevention of puppies, there are also many health benefits of neutering a male dog. It is proven that surgery can reduce the risk of developing prostate problems and testicular cancer. A neutered dog is less likely to develop diabetes and other perianal tumours, are generally much easier to handle and will be less likely to fight and act aggressively towards other dogs. The reduced levels of testosterone mean the ‘desire’ to find a female and mate is greatly reduced. It is important to note however, that neutering your dog is not a fail-safe guaranteed way of controlling your dog’s behaviour – if he has sever behavioural issues, the chances are high that they will still display this even after the testosterone levels are reduced.
CON’S OF NEUTERING YOUR DOG
The obvious downside of neutering your dog is that the procedure is permanent, once castrated, he will no longer be able to reproduce. If you are considering breeding your dog later on in it’s life, then you must be aware that the operation can not be reversed. One main concern post-operation is the fear of your dog gaining excessive amounts of weight. Generally speaking, the effects are normally minimal, although depending on the size and breed of your dog, this can become a concern. The desire to seek a mate is incredibly high in male dogs who have their testicles, and as you can imagine, a great deal of energy and effort is expended in the process of finding a mate and reproducing. Dogs who have undergone the procedure may be eating the exact same amount as before, but find they are not burning off as many calories due to the lack of testosterone. If you allow your dog to get fat, then that is where the problem lies! Far too many people blame the procedure for excessive weight gain, when in reality they are overfeeding and under exercising their dog.
Neutered dogs also have a tendency to be more calm and less active, for similar reasons as the previous point. In most cases this is a preferred option as owners can manage a sedentary and peaceful dog more easily. Saying that, if you prefer the opposite and want your dog to be overactive and energetic, then neutering may not be the best option. (Please note, this is only speaking generally, some neutered dogs remain hyper and excessively active in the same way that dogs who have not had the operation can be just as calm and quiet as one who has been castrated. There are many other factors that add towards to personality and temperament of your pet, so it is important to bear this in mind). Finally, some people prefer the aesthetic appearance of male dogs with everything intact. Although this isn’t directly related to the dog’s health or wellbeing, people with concern can opt to have testicular implants inserted at the end of the operation.
The best advice if you do not intend to breed your dog, is to consider neutering at a young age (depending on the breed). we feel that the benefits outweigh the negatives and you will ensure that the problem of overpopulation does not escalate out of control. If you are thinking about neutering your dog, there is a wealth of information on the web which goes into much more detail about the procedure and what to expect. If you have any concerns, visit your local veterinary practice, who will be able to ease any issues or concerns you have.
What experience do you have of neutering? Let us know in the comments…
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