Is Dog Neutering in Branson, MO Necessary? 9 Reasons Why It Is
For dog parents, especially first-time dog parents, the decision to neuter your sweet little boy dog can be daunting. The risk of anesthesia, the recovery period post-surgery, and the potential impact on your pet’s health and disposition are common concerns. Pet parents also worry if neutering their dog will reduce their dog’s masculinity.
What exactly is neutering? Neutering, or orchiectomy, is a procedure that removes the testicles of a male. The scrotal sac that holds the testicles, the penis and all other associated genitalia remains intact. So, your male dog will still absolutely remain a male.
But veterinarians highly recommend neutering for dogs, and they have a long list of powerful reasons (all of which are directly related to your dog’s health and happiness!) for doing so.
Here’s what veterinarians have to say about dog neutering, including several facts that long-time pet owners may not know:
1. Neutered Dogs Live Longer
Dogs who are neutered live longer and healthier lives with their families. The lifespan of a neutered male dog is 13.8% higher than an unneutered male. That’s a lot more cuddle time with your companion.
2. They Have a Lower Risk of Cancer
Because neutering your male dog removes his testicles, it completely eliminates his risk of testicular cancer, which is the most common cancer in unneutered male dogs.
3. Neutered Dogs Have Fewer Health Problems
Male dogs who are neutered have a lower risk of prostate cancer and other health problems related to their prostate and their reproductive tract.
They also have a lower risk of hormone-related medical issues, such as perineal hernias and perianal tumors. This is because the testicles, the main source of testosterone, have been removed.
Neutered dogs are less likely to catch infectious diseases, such as parvo and distemper, or to be injured in traumatic accidents. This is because they have lower testosterone and therefore, a lower sex drive, and they are less likely to roam.
4. Neutered Dogs Have Fewer Behavioral Issues
The lower level of testosterone in a neutered dog makes a big difference in their behavior.
Unneutered male dogs, with a strong drive to find a mate, will exhibit hormonal behaviors such as marking their territory inside your house, becoming overprotective of members of the family, and running away.
This is because when an unneutered dog senses there’s a female dog in heat in the neighborhood, he will do almost anything to find her. He will try desperately and eventually succeed in escaping your house or yard to go to her and potentially injuring himself in the process. Once free and on the way to his mate, he will likely encounter other male dogs doing the same thing. The fighting that could ensue between unneutered dogs can be fierce. Your dog can get seriously injured, and the scratches and bites they get from other dogs spread infectious diseases, like parvo and distemper.
When your dog’s out roaming the neighborhood, he’s also more likely to get hit by a car, get lost or stolen, get attacked by wildlife, or worse.
Neutered male dogs, on the other hand, are usually calmer, easier to train, and stay closer to home.
5. Veterinary Anesthesia is Safe
The first concern most pet parents have about neutering their dog is the use of anesthesia. Is the risk worth it? While the use of anesthesia is never 100% risk free, the answer overall is yes.
Today’s animal hospitals have modern monitoring equipment and anesthesia medications that are on par with human hospitals. And your veterinarians will only neuter your dog if he’s in excellent health, and of a good size and weight to handle anesthesia, surgery, and recovery.
6. Your Dog’s Personality Won’t Change – But His Behavior Will Improve
Some dog owners worry that their dog will change after a spaying or neutering procedure. Specifically, they worry about their dog losing his masculinity.
But dogs don’t think like that. It’s important to view neutering through your dog’s eyes, not your own. You dog won’t know that anything has changed. It is rare to have any personality or behavioral changes after neutering.
People who have said their dog’s personality changed after neutering are actually seeing a coincidence. Most dogs are neutered at the time they are also coming to the end of their puppyhood and are becoming an adult. Their temperament naturally changes as they are now maturing and out growing much of their puppyhood traits at this time frame in their lives. It just so happens this occurs at the same time frame that veterinarians recommend to neuter your dog.
7. Neutering Your Dog Won’t Increase His Risk of Hip Dysplasia or Other Musculoskeletal Problems
The average age for neutering dogs used to be around 5 months of age, but new research has changed that. Now, the recommendation is that small breed dogs (which weigh 45 lbs. or less) are neutered between six to eight months of age.
Large breed dogs (with a projected weight of 45 lbs. or high when full grown) are recommended to be neutered after growth stops, which is typically between nine and 18 months of age.
This is because research has shown that allowing large dogs to grow for longer period of time before neutering helps the health of their musculoskeletal system, and reduces their risk of dysfunctions like hip dysplasia later in life.
8. Neutering Your Dog is Less Invasive and Less Expensive in the Long Run
Removing a dog’s testicles is a simple surgical procedure but curing your dog of testicular cancer is not. Also, the cost of neutering is economical, while cancer treatment is not. Taking simple, inexpensive, preventative action now could save your dog and you a lot of heartache and hardship later.
9. Neutering Helps Reduce Our Severe Overpopulation of Stray Dogs
According to the ASPCA, 6.5 million animals are taken into our shelter and rescue system each year. Sadly, only 3.2 million of those make their way out of that system and into forever homes.
Dogs reproduce at a much faster rate than humans do. Female dogs who are not spayed have an average of two litters per year, with four to six puppies per litter. That’s twelve puppies per one female dog in the U.S. each year! In 2019, the U.S. had 89.7 million owned dogs. We don’t know how many are unowned. Neutering your dog can really help reduce the number of dogs that are euthanized in animal shelters every day.
The Pros Outweigh the Cons
If you want your male dog to have the longest, happiest, healthiest life he possibly can, neutering is one of the most important decisions you can make for him. As a pet parent, you should weigh the pros and cons of any surgical procedure, whether complicated or simple. Neutering is a simple surgery, and for your dog’s health, the pros far outweigh the cons.
If you have any questions about the procedure, or would like to schedule your appointment, contact Shepherd of the Hills Veterinary Clinic at 417-337-7389 or book an appointment through the online form.
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About Shepherd of the Hills Veterinary Clinic
Founded in 2018 by Dr. Amanda McGinty, we are a full-service animal hospital with a passion for pets and a commitment to community. We offer high-quality, competitively-priced care for Branson-area cats, dogs, rabbits, and pocket pets. At Shepherd of the Hills Veterinary Clinic, we want to provide the best healthcare possible, so we are fully equipped with state-of-the-art imaging and laboratory testing. In addition to carrying the latest technology, we value education and best-in-class care. Therefore, we are Fear Free certified, and Dr. Amanda utilizes a holistic approach using up-to-date modern medicine in addition to herbal and alternative therapies.