5 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Surgery is a scary thing that I’m sure many pet parents would like to avoid if possible. However, spaying or neutering your dog is an important procedure that should be done to protect both your dog and those around you. It can help different health aspects for your pet and help with the dog overpopulation.
I was spayed at my rescue before Molly adopted me, so most rescues and shelters will take care of this ahead of time. However, if the dog you’re adopting is very young or you are adopting them directly from a different family, then they might not be spayed or neutered just yet.
Reasons to Spay/Neuter Your Dog
If you are hesitant to spay or neuter your dog, then there are some things you should consider first. Here are some of the benefits to getting your pup fixed.
It Ensures That Your Dog Doesn’t Have Puppies
Sadly, there is a large overpopulation of dogs in the world today. This is why we encourage dog lovers to adopt. So, if your dog is not spayed or neutered, then there is always a chance that they could get loose or come across another dog when you aren’t paying attention.
If this happens, then you’re going to end up with more puppies than you need, which is only adding more dogs into this world. Unfortunately, the more dogs that there are, the more dogs that need to be kept in shelters or get euthanized.
It Will Help Prevent Some Common Health Problems
If your female dog is not spayed, then she could get urinary tract infections or breast cancer as she ages. These diseases can become very serious and even cancerous, so by spaying your dog, you can avoid this altogether.
A similar situation goes for neutering your male dog. By neutering your dog, it can prevent testicular cancer along with some prostate issues.
It is Cost-Effective
Depending on where you go to spay or neuter your dog, the price range can vary greatly. However, even if you go to a higher end vet, the cost will still be much cheaper than having to care for a litter of puppies if your dog accidentally gets pregnant.
Your Female Dog Won’t Go Into Heat
Female dogs will actually have a cycle if they are not spayed. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll bleed, but they will make an effort to find a mate, which can mean peeing more often, even around the house, and howling or barking more frequently than usual.
Your Male Dog Might Become More Well-Behaved
It is no surprise that male dogs enjoy to hump things if they haven’t been neutered. By getting them neutered, especially at a younger age, it can mellow them out a bit and cause them to be less territorial. Also, dogs that aren’t neutered are typically more likely to wander off in search of a mate.
Risks to Spaying and Neutering
With every type of surgery or procedure, there are risks involved. This doesn’t mean that it should be avoided, but it just means that pet parents should be aware before going into it.
Most people get their dog spayed or neutered while they’re a puppy, but it can really be done at any age. Usually, it is better for puppies because then they can be protected right away. However, some research shows that there is a chance they could get bone cancer from this as a puppy, but the percentage is small.
If you decide to spay or neuter your dog when they are older, you will need to be more careful with their healing process. Also, if they are overweight when they get the procedure, it is more likely that issues will occur. Talk to your vet if you have any concerns about the procedure.
Caring for Them After the Surgery
Similar to any other surgery, after your dog gets spayed or neutered, they will need some time to recover. Make sure you are kind and patient with them to allow them proper time to heal.
After your dog gets spayed or neutered, they will likely just want to rest more than usual, which is what they should be doing. Make sure you keep their activity levels low for the first few days to give them time to heal.
This means that you should probably keep them inside, away from other dogs for the majority of the healing process. For about two weeks, try to make sure your dog doesn’t jump up onto things because this could harm the incision.
Your vet will give you a cone to keep on your dog to prevent them from itching or scratching that area. As uncomfortable as it may look, you should try to keep it on them or at least keep a close eye on them at all times. You don’t want them to mess with the wounded area and make their pain worse.
It is not a good idea to bathe your dog until about 10 days after the surgery. The water could harm the incision if you’re not careful.
If you notice anything unusual, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or changes in appetite during the healing process, then you should contact your vet just to be safe. You always want to make sure that your dog heals properly after any vet visit.
Common Myths about Spaying and Neutering
Some humans might be scared to spay or neuter their dog because of some common misconceptions or rumors they have heard. It is important to know what’s true and what isn’t.
Some humans avoid this procedure because they are worried it will change their dog’s personality too much. While it may calm them down a bit, it will not harm them or cause them to act out of the ordinary. They are still the same dog, just without a need to find a mate anymore.
For those that really want their dog to calm down after the surgery, this is not always an instant or guaranteed fix. If you dog has behavior problems, neutering him will not automatically make him behave. It might help, but this should not be your sole reason for getting the surgery.
There is a myth about dogs becoming overweight after getting spayed or neutered. Sure, they’ll need to rest the first few days, but after that, they should be fine. As long as you keep their normal activity level up, they will be able to maintain a healthy weight.
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