Many people hold strong opinions about spaying or neutering pets. And you don’t have to look far to find one discussion after another about its pros and cons. But so many contain conflicting information!
If you choose to adopt a dog from a shelter, you should know this. Many shelters require spaying or neutering of a dog before they will allow it to leave to go to their forever home. Why? What do they know that you don’t?
In this blog post, we’re listing the pros and cons of spaying or neutering, so you can make an educated decision of your own.
What is Spaying or Neutering?
First, what is spaying or neutering? American Humane defines spaying or neutering: “Spaying is a general term used to describe the ovariohysterectomy of a female animal. Neutering is a general term used to describe the castration of a male animal. However, neutering is often used in reference to both genders. The surgical procedure, performed by a veterinarian, renders the animal incapable of reproducing.”
The Pros of Spaying
- Spaying helps to control the dog overpopulation. Unfortunately, there are “approximately 3.7 million animals euthanized at shelters each year” for the dogs and cats they cannot find homes for.
- It eliminates the messy and smelly process of going into heat. Plus, your dog won’t wander. She will stay close to home.
- Spaying reduces diseases, such as pyometra.
- This procedure reduces the risk of breast cancer provided your dog is younger than 2.5 years old when spaying is done. Having your dog spayed while she is under 2.5 years of age is very important.
The Pros of Neutering
- Neutering reduces and even eliminates your dog’s penchant for marking his territory.
- It lessens or eliminates aggression and promotes a more gentile behavior.
- Neutering lessens wandering. An intact male can smell a female in heat from far away. He will do whatever he can to get to her.
- It eliminates the risk of testicular cancer.
- This procedure increases your dog’s life expectancy.
The Cons of Spaying or Neutering
- Because it is a surgical procedure, your pet can have complications.
- While some cancer risks are reduced by spaying or neutering, others are increased. For example, Dr. Katherine Skorupski said, “The Hoffman study found a higher risk of death due to bladder and prostate cancer, osteosarcoma, lymphoma, and mast cell tumors.” The breed of your dog also seems to play a role in higher cancer rates of dogs that have been spayed or neutered. Vizslas, Golden Retrievers, and Rottweilers have much higher rates of the above-mentioned cancers.
- Obesity happens. With the removal of organs which regulate hormones, the thyroid gland can’t function properly resulting in hypothyroidism. And being overweight can negatively impact organs and joints.
- Spaying or neutering can encourage joint damage.
- It can cause urinary incontinence. Veterinarian Jeff Nichol, DVM, reported, “Studies have shown that up to 20 percent of spayed dogs leak urine when resting or sleeping.”
Recovering from Spaying or Neutering
Responsible pet owners hate to see their dogs in pain, especially following a surgical procedure they opted to have done to their dogs. And making your pet as comfortable as possible after a procedure is every good pet owner’s top priority.
If you decide that spaying or neutering your dog is best, talk with your vet while your dog is still very young. Make sure they are the best age and/or old enough for the procedure before the surgery. Then, implement the following to encourage a speedy recovery:
- Restrict your dog’s activity after surgery. This is one of the best things you can do for your dog.
- Keep your dog warm. Anesthesia can lower your pet’s body temperature.
- Offer your dog plenty of water.
- Isolate your dog from young kids and other pets. Your groggy pooch will be sleepy from the medicines and will be in pain. Keep little ones away to prevent them from getting bit.
- Provide a comfortable environment. “And essential oils are wonderful to help relieve anxiety and promote a stress-free recovery; they can be diffused in your pet’s room and/or applied topically,” says Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM, an integrative veterinarian. Always talk with your veterinarian first before using essential oils. Some are toxic to dogs. Essential oils that have been used with success are lavender, cedarwood, and helichrysum. Frankincense on their paws can calm them.
- Use the Spectra Therapy CANINE Wearable LASERwrap®. This natural, holistic option speeds pain relief and recovery efforts. It works by increasing blood flow and improving circulation which allows your dog to heal themselves naturally.
The pros and cons of spaying or neutering your pet are numerous. Ultimately, it comes down to whatever you and your family decide is best for you. Your lifestyle and preferences for how your four-legged family member fits in can help you determine what is right for you to do. Remember, if you choose to spay or neuter your pet, the Spectra Therapy CANINE Wearable LASERwrap® can help significantly reduce recovery time. Keep your family pet comfortable while they convalesce safely and effectively in the convenience of your home.
Please share your thoughts and comments below. If you have any immediate needs or questions, call us at (248) 524-6300 today.