There are a lot of differing opinions when it comes to whether or not you should neuter a dog.
There are thousands of people who are all for neutering a dog so that it can live happily and undisturbed by urges that are beyond its understanding.
However, there are also thousands of people who are against removing a part of a dog solely so that it can be easier to take care of.
Before taking a decision, you should heavily weigh both the pros and cons of neutering a dog.
What Age Should You Neuter a Dog?
The age that you have your dog neutered is going to play a role in the pros and cons that you will face.
Depending on the expert that you go to, you will end up having a different age recommended for neutering. Of course, these professionals have their reasons for recommending such ages.
If you are talking to a rescue operation, then they will tell you to have your dog neutered when it reaches eight weeks of age. This helps to combat the overpopulation problem that most rescue shelters face.
They follow the belief that the earlier a dog is neutered, the less of a chance there is that the dog will impregnate another dog in heat.
If you are talking to a veterinarian about neutering a dog, then he or she will probably tell you to neuter the dog when it reaches the age of six months.
This typically relies on the idea that dogs reach their sexual maturity around the age of six months, although there isn’t as much evidence to support this. The goal of getting your dog neutered at this age is to neuter the dog at the onset of puberty to mitigate the cons that come with neutering.
If you are talking to a breeder or a trainer, he or she will recommend that you get your dog neutered at about 14 months of age.
These professionals want to preserve the health and strength of the skeletal system of the dog, and there have been some studies that show that neutering a dog before it reaches a year of age will result in an increased chance of osteosarcoma.
Ultimately, it is up to you to determine when you should be neutering your dog.
If you want to prevent overpopulation in rescue shelters, then you might want to consider an early neutering at the risk of your dog developing more health problems.
If you are willing to take the risk of having your dog impregnate another dog, but want to play it safer with medical issues, you could listen to the vet’s recommendation.
If you want to keep your dog as healthy as possible before neutering it, you might want to put up with the risk of having your dog contribute to overpopulation issues and wait a little over a year.
What Are the Health Benefits of Neutering a Dog?
As you begin to look at neutering a dog pros and cons, one of the most important things you will want to pay attention to is the health risks and benefits.
As for the health benefits, there aren’t nearly as many as there are compared to behavioral benefits. There will be a reduced risk of your dog developing testicular cancer, which is always a good thing. Nobody ever wants their dog to get cancer of any kind.
There is also a reduced risk for a number of other, noncancerous, conditions that affect the prostate. This includes conditions such as benign prostate hyperplasia and related conditions. In the long run, this will make your dog’s life a whole lot easier.
In addition to this, there is also a reduced risk for your dog developing a condition called perianal fistulas. Simply put, this is an infection of the area between the skin and the anus. Reducing the chances of your dog developing this condition means that both you and your dog will be able to live comfortably for a long, long time.
With that being said, there are a number of health conditions that your dog might have an increased risk of when you choose to have them neutered.
What Are the Health Risks of Neutering a Dog?
These reasons are usually the main reasons why people will not have their dogs neutered, although it is a very understandable reason.
There are several conditions that your dog will have an increased risk of developing if you neuter him.
For example, if you neuter a dog before it reaches the age of one year, it will have an increased risk for osteosarcoma. This is a type of bone cancer that can be very painful for your dog. Nobody wants to watch their dog suffer from cancer.
Another condition that your dog might develop is cardiac hemangiosarcoma. As the name might suggest, this is another type of cancer. This type of cancer originates in the heart and, to put it simply, is a cancer of the blood vessels.
This can create a very painful life for your dog.
Another cancer that your dog has an increased risk of developing is prostate cancer. Most people can imagine that prostate cancer is just as uncomfortable and painful as it sounds. Nobody wants to put their dogs through this type of pain.
The final type of cancer that your dog will have an increased risk of developing if you neuter it is going to be urinary tract cancer. As with any other form of cancer, this is a troublesome thing to deal with and it can make life very challenging for both you and your dog.
Aside from cancers, there are several other conditions that your dog will have an increased risk of developing if you choose to neuter him. These conditions include the following:
- Orthopedic disorders
- Progressive geriatric cognitive impairment
Each and every one of these issues are things that can make your dog’s life significantly more troublesome.
However, when you look at such a list, you might begin to wonder why anyone would neuter their dog, even knowing all the risks that it puts them at.
The truth is, most people neuter their dogs for the behavioral benefits.
What Are the Behavioral Benefits of Neutering a Dog?
Most people neuter their dogs for the behavioral benefits.
Arguably, there are many more benefits to neutering a dog when you are looking at it from managing your dog’s behavior. After all, you are removing a part of the body that secretes hormones, so there is going to be a major change.
While some people argue that it makes no behavioral difference to neuter a dog, there are actual statistics that disprove this.
From aggression between male dogs to urine marking and mounting, there is a drastic reduction in how male dogs behave once they are neutered.
Most dogs are going to be calmer and not nearly as aggressive as their un-neutered counterparts. This is especially the case when it comes to interactions between male dogs.
This is because neutering a dog affects the amount of testosterone flowing through that dog. With reduced testosterone, your dog is not going to be nearly as prone to picking fights, marking territory, mounting, or roaming as he otherwise would be.
Of course, you should always keep in mind that your dog could be acting aggressively out of fear, rather than hormones.
If your dog has been neutered and it is still acting aggressively, you might want to consider taking the dog back to a vet and figuring out what the cause of the fear is.
Do You Have a Choice?
There are some situations where you might find that you don’t always have a choice in neutering your dog. Some breeders will require you to sign a neutering contract, meaning that you have to neuter the dog if you get it from that breeder.
Other towns could end up requiring a program designed to spay and neuter animals that roam around outdoors to prevent overpopulation.
If you live out on a farm in the middle of nowhere, you might not be too concerned about an unneutered dog, but in an urban environment, an unneutered dog can cause a lot of trouble.
You will want to pay close attention to the rules and regulations in your area when you are considering getting a dog.
If you choose not to neuter the dog, you will have to keep a closer eye on him to ensure that he is not impregnating dogs in heat when you aren’t looking. If you are willing to handle this, alongside increased aggression, then you can choose not to neuter your dog.
Otherwise, you should give a lot of thought to the pros and cons of neutering a dog, and what it means for the dogs who live nearby.
Neutering your dog is something that you should seriously consider, especially if you live in an urban environment.
There are a few physical downsides that you will need to be wary of, but in return, your dog will be happier and will not be nearly as aggressive as he otherwise would be.
You should also consider what age you want to have your dog neutered at, as this will make a significant difference on the outcome.