Spaying, desexing, and neutering your pets is a general term that refers to a process of ovariohysterectomy in females and castration in males to ensure they cannot have offspring.
Spaying or neutering your dog seems counterintuitive for most owners who may worry about its long term effects on their pet. But this procedure actually has a wealth of health benefits.
Controlling the overpopulation of cats and dogs
Millions of cats and dogs are put to sleep each year because they are not adopted from animal shelters. In the long term, it is more humane and beneficial to control the population of cats and dogs by spaying or neutering to ensure that a perfectly healthy animal doesn’t get euthanased simply because there isn’t a home for them.
Desexing helps dogs live longer, and behave better
On average, spaying or neutering your dog can actually increase their lifespan by 1 to 3 years. Your dog may also behave better by being spayed or neutered because you won’t have to deal with male pets marking their territory on your new curtains or furniture.
You also won’t have to deal with your female dog going into heat, which can cause her to pee everywhere, vocalise incessantly, and run away from home in search of a mate.
Desexing your pet significantly lowers their risk of cancer
The risk of cancer in un-sprayed or un-neutered pets is much higher. In male dogs, the risk of prostate cancer and testicular cancer can dramatically decrease after they are castrated.
Entire female dogs that haven’t been desexed, have a much higher risk of getting a variety of cancers including breast (mammary) cancer, uterine or ovarian cancer, and a nasty condition called pyometra (infection in the uterus).
Once your dog is spayed or neutered, however, they have a much better chance of living healthier with less risk of contracting these debilitating cancers.
Desexing your pet may reduce the likelihood of your dog developing aggressive behaviours
Spaying or neutering your dogs may help to ensure they exhibit less aggression, ordinarily caused by hormonal fluctuations and mating competition.
And this benefit isn’t restricted to the male gender. Female dogs can be quite aggressive due to hormonal changes during their cycles and during heat. Spaying females may help to limit or eliminte these aggressive tendencies.
Desexing your dog may give them more focus, allowing them to become more amenable to training.
Pet parents often report that they find their dog less distracted, and more focused, once they have been desexed. This is likely to be related to the drop in the sex-related hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone.
As a result, you may find it much easier to train your pooch, ensuring they behave and don’t become so unmanageable that they end up becoming surrendered to animal shelters, where they present complications in being re-homed.
Overall, there are many benefits to spaying or neutering your dog. From a health and behavioural perspective, to community benefits and responsibility, it’s within everyone’s best interests to desex their pets at an appropriate age.