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6 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Dog

Everyone knows that getting your dog spayed or neutered is the best way to prevent unwanted puppies. Really, unless your dog has a pedigree as long as your arm and competes in dog shows, you shouldn't be thinking about puppies at all. But aside from the obvious, there are several REALLY great reasons to get your dog spayed or neutered.

1. Behavioural Issues

Getting your dog spayed or neutered early on, ideally around 6 months of age, can help to prevent some of the behavioural issues associated with sexual maturity in dogs. This may include aggression and urinating in the house, usually in male dogs. While spaying or neutering later in life can sometimes help with issues like these, in most cases, the pattern is set, and you'll just have to live with it.

2. Avoid Infections

Dogs, like humans, can get infections in their reproductive organs, and unspayed female dogs may develop potentially dangerous uterine infections that can be life threatening. Since spaying removes these organs, you effectively eliminate the risk.

3. Pregnancy Complications

Finding good homes for an unplanned litter of puppies is not the only problem you might have if you don't have your dog spayed. Pregnancy can be just as dangerous for dogs as it can be for humans. Complications that arise during the pregnancy or birth can require emergency medical care, that can not only put your dog and her puppies at risk, but also cost a small fortune.

4. Cancer

Dogs can develop cancer, just like humans, and the incidence of uterine, ovarian, testicular and mammory cancers in dogs that have not been spayed or neutered can be as high as 50%. If you're not breeding pedigreed puppies (and even if you are, you should spay and neuter as soon as they have had their last litter!), it's far safer for your dog to be "fixed" sooner rather than later.

5. No Oestrus

Oestrus or estrus, is the term when your female dog is "in heat." It's usually a three week period every six months or so, with a week of bleeding, followed by a week of limited bleeding during ovulation, and then another week of bleeding. And yes. It's as messy as it sounds!

6. Less Likely to Wander

Dogs that are intact, whether male or female, are more likely to escape and wander off than their spayed and neutered counterparts. Male dogs might run off every time they sniff a female in heat, while females might try to get out to find a mate. All round, it's better for your dog if they are spayed!

 

In general, spaying and neutering is a smart choice for owners, and a healthier choice for dogs. Dogs are usually spayed or neutered when they are somewhere between six and nine months, but it can be done earlier or later. There are many myths about spaying and neutering dogs (like that they might gain weight), but if you are worried, you can speak to your veterinarian, and get all the right advice.

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