Spaying and neutering your animals: Responsible pet care – Part 1

Spaying or Neutering Your Pet Dog

No dog owner should obtain a dog without considering spaying/neutering it. This is a very serious responsibility of pet ownership.

If you think your dog is “perfect” enough to reproduce and make some of the world’s greatest puppies, please read some facts and stats and think again.

You are not cloning a dog; you’re breeding it. You are not going to get “Spot, Jr.” or a miniature of little “Fluffy.” If you do not know at least the past 3 generations of parentage behind both dogs (some recommend 5 or more generations for a more predictable quality of pups), they probably are not the “quality” specimens you think they are. Some dog owners don’t want to put their pets through the “discomfort” of surgery, just as some don’t enjoy having their pets vaccinated, but it is the responsible thing to do.

HEALTH FACTS: Neutering a male dog eliminates the risk of testicular cancer; it reduces the risk of prostate cancer. In fact, if a male dog is neutered before he is 6 months old, there is a near 100% chance he will not get prostate cancer. If you hesitate because of “altering” your male dog’s appearance, there is a “testicular replacement procedure” for those who prefer the “natural look.” Ask your vet for details. Also, neutered males are less prone to anal gland problems.

Spaying a female eliminates the risk of ovarian cancer and pyometra, a life threatening uterine infection, and reduces the risk of mammary cancer. The earlier you have your pet sterilized, the lower the risk. A female does not need to experience a heat before being spayed; in fact, preventing pregnancy during a first heat can be quite difficult. Any bitch may have a difficult, and costly, pregnancy or birth. Why take that risk with your family pet if it is not meant to be bred? Spaying a bitch before a first heat, around 6 months, and neutering a male by 6 months, is recommended, if you are not planning to intentionally breed your dogs.

Some vets are now performing “pediatric” spay/neuters at 8 weeks of age, but not all vets are willing or prepared to do surgery on dogs this young. Ask your vet for his/her recommendation.

BEHAVIOR: Male dogs are less likely to mark territory or fight over a female if they are altered. The sexual urge is a strong drive. An intact dog will try to roam in search of a mate. I have seen a statistic that stated as many as 90% of dogs hit by cars are intact males. If that is accurate,

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