A Simple Way to Save Your Dog’s Life
There are sooo many reasons to spay or neuter your dog I can’t even wrap my mind around them all! But, let me try to convince anyone who is on the fence that getting your pet “fixed” is the best route for them and for you!
Health... Save Your Dog's Life
As a vet tech a large majority of female dogs that stayed intact ended up being diagnosed and ultimately dying of mammary (breast) cancer.
As quoted by McCarthy from the University of Georgia, Athens “Mammary tumors are the second most common group of neoplasms in dogs, following skin tumors (Fig. 1).6 They are the most common tumors in female dogs, comprising 52% of all neoplasms.3 Of the mammary gland tumors diagnosed in female dogs, 41 to 53% are diagnosed as malignant.7”
“The development of mammary gland neoplasms appears to be hormone-dependent because the risk of developing a mammary tumor increases as the number of estrous (heat) cycles increases. The risk of developing mammary gland tumors is 0.05% if the dog is spayed prior to the first estrous cycle. The incidence of neoplasia increases to 8% if the dog is spayed prior the second estrous cycle and to 26% if spayed after the second estrous cycle.”
The MOST common tumor in female dogs is mammary cancer and if spayed before your dog goes into heat (normally it is recommended at around 16 weeks or just after the last round of vaccines) it is only 0.05% but see how that leaps to 26% after just 2 heat cycles? And, remember it continues to increase as your dog continues to go into heat! Is it worth risking cancer to keep your female dog intact?
Did you know that not all dogs are capable of having puppies on their own? Some dogs need C-sections or are unable to expel all of the puppies on their own.
Intact female dogs are also at risk of developing Pyometra: is a bacterial infection of the uterus that mostly occurs in unspayed female dogs. It can result in the accumulation of infection in the bloodstream or abdominal cavity, which can rapidly lead to systemic infection, shock, and death.
Did you know that male dogs can also suffer from prostate problems and prostate cancer?
Pets.webmd.com states “Neutering eliminates the stimulus for prostatic enlargement and is the treatment of choice for dogs who are not intended for breeding. A significant decrease in the size of the prostate gland occurs shortly after neutering.”
Numerous cancers have been associated with testosterone and neutering decreases testosterone and the risk of cancer.
Infections are also more common in intact animals than those that are spayed or neutered.
It is not worth risking the amount of time you have with your dog, diseases and infections to keep him or her intact!
Behavior... Save Your Sanity!
Spaying and neutering has a direct effect on behavior!
Neutering early decreases testosterone and other hormones and will keep most dogs from starting problem behaviors like marking territory and fighting and excessive possessive behaviors.
Spayed and neutered dogs are also easier to train because they are less distracted by their hormones.
Along these lines, you might find it interesting to note that spayed and neutered dogs are also better at guarding their homes and people because they are less distracted by sexual instincts.
When people ask me behavior questions, one of the first things I ask is “Is your dog spayed or neutered?” because hormones lead to so many behavior problems and aggression related issues.
If you are having a behavior problem and your dog is intact, one of my first recommendations is going to be to spay or neuter!
Spaying and neutering also decreases the desire to roam and run away. And roaming can have deadly consequences!
But you Think You Want to Breed...
Do you realize the amount of money that it takes to prepare for an ethical breeding?
Dog’s should be at least two years of age and should be free of structural and genetic diseases.
X-rays alone can cost several hundreds of dollars, and depending on the breed your dogs may also need his/her eyes certified by a veterinary ophthalmologists, and a cardiac work up by a cardiologist, and perhaps some blood screens.
It can cost a few thousand dollars just to ready your dog for breeding, if you are ethical and interested in bettering the breed.
Did you know that 25% of the dogs in shelters are purebred dogs?
If you love a breed just find its local or national rescue service online or on Facebook and watch how many dogs are accepted into rescue every day and how many more dogs are in need of foster homes and rescue.
Even the best breeders in the country who have infallible puppy contracts that require the return of the dog at any age to the breeder have dogs that end up in shelters and are ultimately euthanized.
People’s lives change, or they give their pet to their best friend thinking it will have a better home and eventually end up going to shelters and being put to sleep.
Are you ready and willing to add to that number? Do not think that you or your dog’s prodigy will be exempt!
Are you willing to stay up all night with sick puppies or puppies that aren’t eating or to simply check on puppies every hour or so? Can your heart handle the puppies that die and the puppies that suffer from infections or congenital problems that need to be euthanized?
Myths That Try to Convince You NOT to Spay or Neuter
Many people don’t spay or neuter because they are fixated on the myths associated with “fixing” a dog.
Myth 1: My Pet will Get Fat and Lazy
- Being overweight has nothing to do with being neutered and it has everything to do with calories in and the opportunity to burn calories.
- Dogs get fat because we feed them too much, we feed the wrong thing, and we don’t provide our pets with enough exercise!
Myth 2: Spaying or Neutering will Change My Dog’s Personality
- The lack of hormones will simply keep bad behavior like marking and aggression from starting, and will keep your pet healthier and less likely to develop infections and diseases like cancer.
- Neutering alone will not change the basic personality (for better or worse) of any animal.
Myth 3: We want another Dog just Like This One
- Breeding two dogs together rarely results in offspring that are the same as the mother or father. Puppies will carry traits of both and you will never be able to compare or replace the pet you already have.
Myth 4: We can Make Money
- The cost of getting your dog ready to breed, stud fees, x-rays of puppies, veterinary checks, and ultrasounds can be quite costly.
- And the risk of the female not being able to have a natural birth or getting severely sick and dying as a result are high. Monitoring and vet checks are essential.
- And you must take into account vaccinations, and quality food and the profit can quickly dissipate or you can even go into the red.
- Responsible breeders are working to improve the breed not profit from it!
Myth 5: My Children Should Witness the “Gift of Life”
- Pets often have their litters in the middle of the night or in a place of their own choosing. Because pets need privacy when giving birth, any unnecessary intrusion can cause the mother to become seriously upset and she may even eat her offspring. These intrusions can result in an unwillingness to care for the offspring or in injury to the owners or to the pet.
- And, you must ask yourself is your child capable of dealing with the birth of a dead puppy or the risk of death to his best friend while she gives birth?
Spaying and neutering is critical in having a well behaved pet and keeping your pet alive and healthy for many years!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.