A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
Spaying or neutering your newly adopted dog is one of the first steps in helping them live a long and healthy life. It’s a minimally invasive day surgery that benefits their health, your home life, and the community at large. Here’s a few of the reasons why:
- It reduces the risk of uterine infection and cancer (Breast cancer in female dogs and Testicular cancer in male dogs).
- It reduces the risk of straying from home in search of a mate, where running in the street and getting hit are a high risk.
- It reduces aggressive and territorial behavior, as well as annoying mating rituals such as spraying and trying to escape out the door every time it opens. Also, dominance behaviors with family members will be minimized with sterilization.
- It doesn’t hurt them, physically or emotionally. The surgery is done under general anaesthetic and is painless. The recovery consists of keeping them away from the stitches and from jumping or running (again to avoid disrupting the stitches). The only post-surgery requirements are to keep an eye on the stitches and monitor your dog’s activity level. As far as emotional “loss” of reproductive capability, these feelings are complete projections made by humans. When you bring a dog into your family, spaying or neutering allows them to focus on being a part of your established pack, instead of being driven by the urge to reproduce.
- It’s one way to help the pet overpopulation epidemic. It’s a fact that millions of dogs, of all ages and breeds, are euthanized every year due to pet overpopulation. Unplanned litters and unsterilized strays perpetuate the cycle that can be prevented by one simple medical procedure.
- The cost to spay or neuter is minimal and can even be free. Most cities offer low-cost spay/neuter programs and most shelters sterilize before they allow adoption, so the cost of adoption includes it. Also, it is much cheaper than medical bills related to straying from home, dominant behavior, injuries, or birthing a litter.
Your decision to spay or neuter your new canine family member is one of the best things that you can do for his/her life, as well as, the lives of thousands of other dogs who don’t get adopted. If you are still undecided or need financial help, call your local vet for free advice.