By having your dog neutered, you are doing your part to help control the pet population. And, as a dog owner, by saying yes to neutering you will also notice major positive benefits in your beloved pet’s behavior, while also giving him a boost toward having a healthy, long life.
What is neutering?
A dog that is neutered has had its testes surgically removed. Neutering is sometimes referred to as sterilization or castration.
When should neutering be done?
Dogs are typically neutered between 6 and 9 months of age, though they can be neutered any time after they turn 8 weeks old. It is possible for adult dogs to be sterilized as well, but there may be some greater risks and complications to your dog’s health post-op. Discuss your dog’s unique needs with your vet so that neutering is done at the best possible time.
Why should I have my dog neutered?
If you’re planning to breed your dog and are confident that you will be able to place all of the puppies in safe homes, neutering is obviously not on the table. Of course, any unplanned litter of pups is a big responsibility, and while neutering your dog will help you avoid this issue, it is the behavioral and health benefits of neutering your dog that are the biggest pros of this surgical procedure.
Your dog will experience the following benefits from neutering:
- Prevention of testicular tumors and cancer.
- Reduced rate of prostate problems.
- Reduced chance of developing perianal tumors or hernias.
- Diminished aggression.
- Less distracted by females in heat.
- Less likely to try to escape to seek out a mate.
- Less likely to mark their territory with urine.
- Diminished desire to mount peoples’ legs or the furniture.
By neutering your dog, you are acting as a responsible dog owner, preventing the chances of accidental breeding.
Does my dog have to go under anesthesia for neutering?
Because neutering is a surgical procedure, your dog will be under general anesthesia and monitored throughout. It’s normal to feel nervous about your dog’s neutering, but sterilization is a routine procedure that your vet has completed many times over. It is likely that your vet will recommend that your pet not eat for 12 hours before the surgery commences.
Will my dog be in pain?
While any male dog owner may cringe at the thought of their dog being castrated, this procedure is common and your vet is adept at doing the surgery efficiently and safely. Your puppy can usually come home with you on the same day of the procedure. If your pet shows signs of discomfort, pain medication may be recommended. The best way to protect your dog from any negative side effects of the neutering is to have him fitted with an Elizabethan collar after surgery so that he does not lick, bite, or scratch at his incision site. More than likely, your dog will simply be very sleepy after the surgery, but he should be back to normal within a few days. If you notice any red flags or your dog seems out of sorts, contact your vet immediately.
How do I take care of my dog after he is neutered?
Your veterinarian will provide you with post-operative instructions so that you can appropriately tend to your freshly neutered pup. The main goal is to help your pet rest enough so that he recovers properly from his surgery. Ideally, you have a quiet spot where he will be uninterrupted by other pets or children so he can sleep and rest in peace. Exercise and activity, no matter how excitable and energetic your puppy is, will be limited for a few weeks following neutering. Baths will likely be on the back burner for about 10 days – and there should really be no need for a bath anyway since your pet will not be very active for a little while. You will receive information on what to expect from your dog’s eating and bathroom habits post-op. And it will be critical for you to monitor the incision site daily to ensure that there are no signs of redness, swelling, discharge, or otherwise. If your dog doesn’t seem to be acting correctly or you notice signs of pain, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Will my dog be the same after neutering?
The idea of your jovial, frisky, fun-loving puppy being altered by neutering is of course a bittersweet thought. But most dog owners report that their dog is the same as always and their personality unaltered, except they often enjoy the side effects of a calmer, more content, and more family-friendly dog. The aggressive behavior that unsterilized males can exhibit is not easy for most dog owners to tolerate.
The idea of your pet gaining weight after neutering is a myth. It is lack of exercise and poor nutrition that will make your dog put on the pounds. After he has recovered completely from neutering, your dog should be back on his normal routine of daily activity and good, solid food, which will keep him healthy for years to come.
Have more questions about neutering your dog? Contact the Northpointe Veterinary Hospital to learn what’s right for your canine companion.