If you do not intend to breed from your dog then most owners will consider neutering. By writing this blog we hope to help you make that important decision. Alternatively, you can speak to your vet who will be more than happy to discuss neutering with you.

Benefits to spaying your female dog:

1. Prevents unwanted litters and the costs involved.

2. By spaying you are doing your bit to help reduce the number of stray and homeless dogs.

3. Reduces the risk of mammary tumours which are common in entire bitches and often fatal. Spaying before your dog’s first season is the most effective way of providing this protection and becomes less effective with each successive season.

4. Entire, older bitches are also prone to infections in their uterus called a pyometra which is a very serious and life threatening condition.

5. Bitches tend to come into season for 2-3 weeks every 6 months (although this is slightly variable dependent on breed and size). During this time their behaviour may change and they will have a bloody discharge which can make a mess in the house! She will also get a lot of unwanted male attention while out on walks.

6. Ensures no phantom pregnancies.

Benefits to castrating your male dog:

1.Castrating your dog will prevent testicular cancer and some prostate problems such as cysts or infections. Enlarged prostate occurs in 80% of intact dogs past the age of 5 years and results in difficulty urinating.

2. Entire dogs are more likely to mark their territory by spraying urine around the house.

3. Castrated dogs are less likely to display aggressive or over-amorous behaviour.

4. A castrated dog is less likely to run away from home or roam in search of a mate.

Misconceptions about neutering:

1. Neutering your dog will not necessarily cause them to put on weight. As long as you give them regular exercise and monitor food intake they will stay fit and healthy.

2. Whilst castration often reduces undesirable behaviours in your dog this is not always guaranteed and will be dependent on your dog’s personality and history (whether a behaviour is learned).

Disadvantages to neutering:

1. Early spaying causes urinary incontinence in up to 20% of spayed females. If your dog is spayed before her bladder is fully developed, weak bladder muscles may start to leak in middle age. To try to avoid this you could discuss with your vet allowing your dog to have her first season before she is spayed.

2. Neutering could affect the growth and texture of your dog’s coat but this does not happen in all neutered dogs.

3. Neutering can affect growth and maturation. It is best to discuss the best time to neuter your individual dog with your vet to gain the maximum advantages you can from neutering without compromising anything else.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

Written by: Hannah