The benefits of neutering your dog
June 14, 2021
Having your dog neutered is a personal choice. Many owners find it helpful to know what happens during a dog neutering procedure and any pros & cons, before deciding. Our Norwich veterinary team are here to answer your dog neutering questions.
Dog neutering is usually carried out at around six to eight months of age. Certain breeds can benefit from being neutered slightly later, so it is always best to ask our team for advice on when is the best time to neuter your dog. Before your puppy reaches their 6-month birthday, book an appointment with one of our vets for advice.
The dog neutering procedure
Dog neutering involves removing reproductive organs, or ‘de-sexing’. A male’s testicles are removed, and females have their ovaries (and sometimes other parts) removed. Our team will advise you on what to do before your dog’s neutering procedure (last food & drink times), and how to care for them at home afterwards.
On the day, your dog will be admitted in the morning, and they will be examined by one of our vets prior to the neutering procedure. Careful monitoring is carried out before, during and after. Pets usually go home on the same day with pain relief and have a post-op check a few days later.
Pros and cons of dog neutering:
Male dog neutering (castration)
- Reduces wandering and therefore the chances of being involved in a road accident.
- Can help with some behavioural issues such as sexual aggression and territory marking.
- Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and reduces the risk of prostate disease.
Female dog neutering (spaying)
- Stops your dog from coming into season, or ‘in heat’.
- Prevents phantom pregnancies, which can be distressing for your dog.
- Prevents unwanted pregnancies, reducing the number of unwanted puppies.
- Eliminates the possibility of life-threatening pyometra (uterine infection).
- Reduces the risk of mammary tumours (breast cancer).
Disadvantages of dog neutering
- As with all operations under general anaesthesia there is some, but very low risk attached.
- Weight gain can be an issue, as neutering can lower the metabolic rate. This can be balanced with less or lower-calorie food, and more exercise. Our head vet, Louise Rayment-Dyble, recommends regular weight checks with one of our nursing team after neutering.
- Urinary incontinence in neutered female dogs can be a problem later in life, for which there is medication to help control it.
What if I want to breed from my dog?
Louise advises that breeding dogs should always be well thought out, with the health & wellbeing of the parents and offspring being the top priority. Some dog pregnancies are straightforward, whereas others can have complications. Certain breeds (typically small) can struggle with carrying puppies and some dogs require a caesarean section if birth. Male dogs can have more behavioural issues if used as studs.
In older dogs, neutering itself may not change some developed behaviours. It can, however, still provide many health benefits.
Our team will be happy to answer your questions about dog neutering, just contact us for advice.