Should you spay your puppy

by admin on 01-07-2013 in Puppy Care

Having your new puppy "fixed" (spaying a female puppy, neutering a male puppy) is a tough decision to make.  Certain people will tell you not to do it for health reasons, others (such as veterinarians) will tell you to have them fixed because of health problems they may face in the future.  For example, every time I take my intact male to the Vet, he gives him his routine physical and tells me how I should consider getting rid of his "troublemakers" so that he can live a much longer, healthier life.  While I do agree that intact males and females are more prone to certain types of cancer than a dog that is spayed or neutered, I choose to leave my male intact for a number of reasons.

Why NOT to neuter your dog

The following are good reasons to leave your dog intact:Your dog comes from a very strict breeding program with an excellent lineage, which will improve the breed and not pass on any undesirable traits or known health defects.  However, you must plan on breeding your dog with another dog of comparable characteristics eventually when they become of age.  Breeding dogs is not for everyone, so if you don't plan on putting forth the effort to maintain an acceptable breeding program, you should not breed your dog.The other reason not to neuter your dog is because of potential health risks arising from the procedure.  I know you may be asking yourselves, "what? I've never heard of them developing health issues after a successful spay or neuter".  There have been studies that show female dogs are more prone to certain types of cancer after being spayed, as well as males.While eliminating some risk with spaying or neutering, we are making our dogs more susceptible to future health risks associated with ovary and testicle removal.  For a more in-depth approach to this subject please refer to this article by Laura J. Sanborn.  She touches on the fact that not much evidence is given as good reason to have your dogs fixed.  She also states that should you decide to spay your dog, you should wait until they are mature in age.  Neutering and spaying before  puberty leads to a higher probability of bone cancer in both males and females.

When to consider getting your dog fixed

Although most dogs can live a long healthy life without getting fixed, there are times that spaying or neutering is recommended.  Especially in females that are older and have never been bred.Most organizations such as the ASPCA want you to spay your females and neuter your males to eliminate the over population of dogs which leads to stray dogs being sent to shelters and rescues.  Most will agree that if you are not planning to control your pet from irresponsible breeding, it would be wise to have them fixed to prevent unwanted litters.Sometimes you just don't have a choice in the matter.  If you adopt a puppy from a rescue or shelter, chances are high it will not be intact.

Behavioral issues arising from an intact dog

Females will enter into their heat cycles every 6 to 9 months (depending on the breed) in which her bleeding will be messy around the house, and when ready will stand for practically any male dog and may even leave the premises if not kenneled.Males will attempt to escape their quarters if they sense nearby females in heat.  There are also male dominance issues arising from the male wanting to be the "alpha male" or leader of the pack among other males.  This is just a male being a male.

Conclusion

So when it all comes down to it, it's a matter of personal opinion.  Arguments can be made for both sides of the discussion, with both options having potential health risks.What are your thoughts on spaying or neutering your puppy?

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