What Is Dog Neutering?

Dog neutering is a surgical procedure of removing the gonads, preventing the dog from reproducing.

Neutering is the general term used both for male and female dogs. The removal of testicles is known as castration, while the female sterilization procedure is called spaying.

There are a lot of advantages to neutering your pet; however, there are some drawbacks as well.

Why Neutering is Recommended

Male dogs, unlike females, are almost always ready to mate. This may result in a lot of puppies. If the dog's desire is not fulfilled, the dog becomes frustrated and may deflect his sexual behavior on cushions or someone's leg, and become aggressive. He may also lick himself excessively, causing skin problems or infections.

Sterilization Procedure

The procedure of neutering involves the removal of the dog's testicles. The ideal age of neutering is before the dog is 6 months old, because he is not sexually mature yet.

The dog will be placed under anesthesia. The vets use reversible gas.

The dog's heart will be monitored to make sure the surgery does not endanger his health.

The dog may be released the same day, or may be kept one night for surveillance.

Laser Sterilization Surgery

The de-sexing procedure may be performed with a laser beam. The procedure minimizes bleeding and is quicker. The pet will suffer less pain while recovering. However, the tissue may take longer to heal. The main disadvantage of the laser castration surgery is the cost.

Pluses and Minuses of Neutering

Male dogs that get an orchectomy (removal of testicles) will exhibit better behavior. They will be less likely to mark their territory, to roam or to be dominant. However, dogs with a dominant personality may become aggressive, because the testosterone is still produced in the body, but in lesser amounts. The castration of a dog due to behavioral problems may not be efficient without being combined with behavioral training.

Having both their testicles removed will result in zero risk of testicular cancer. Neutered dogs have fewer prostate problems.

If the sterilization procedure is performed before reaching maturity, the dog may have growth deformities such as longer legs or a flatter chest, because the sexual hormones have a role in the growth process too. These deformities may add extra stress on the joints and result in a higher incidence of joint disease in neutered dogs.

Neutered dogs are more exposed to bladder incontinence, thyroid problems and cancers.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Spaying

Spaying or ovariohysterectomy is when the ovaries of the female dog are removed. The surgery will prevent the dog from having litters of puppies. The benefits of the surgery include the diminished risk to develop reproductive system cancers or uterine infections. On the other hand, spaying brings a risk for other types of cancer, joint problems or thyroid disease.

The dog will become friendlier but may become overweight. The excessive fat is not solely due to the sterilization procedure; it is also due to a sedentary life style, high energy meals or genetics.