Many pet owners are encouraged to get their dogs spayed or neutered. This is a good idea not only for the animal and the owner, but also for society at large. Having your dog sterilized is one of the most important parts of pet care, and every responsible dog owner should do it. Millions of unaltered animals worldwide speak to the need for widespread spay or neuter programs.
Whether your dog is being spayed or neutered, the veterinarian will anesthetize the animal and remove either its testicles or reproductive organs, preventing it from breeding. The procedure is relatively simple, and the healing process is very quick if pet owners follow the directions of the veterinarian for surgical aftercare. The surgery is good for your animal: it will increase the dog’s lifespan, and reduce the risk of reproductive cancers such as cervical and testicular cancer.
The most compelling argument for having your dog “fixed” is the proliferation of unsterilized animals in pounds and animal shelters. Millions of dogs are euthanized every year because they lack loving owners and caring homes. In many nations, packs of feral dogs run wild, increasing the risk of communicating diseases, as well as traumatizing the local population. This tragic situation can be avoided by spaying or neutering your pets, and by adopting from animal shelters when you want to bring new animals into your life.
Spaying or neutering your dog is also better for you. Altered animals tend to have fewer behavior problems such as aggression, inappropriate urination/defecation, and roaming. Pet owners who have experienced a pet in heat are well acquainted with the reasons to spay your dog, as animals in heat tend to behave erratically, mark their territory with pungent hormones, and attract male followers. Sterilized animals are better behaved, easier to handle, and much more comfortable around children.
In some areas, unaltered dogs are also more expensive to license, due to programs designed to reward people for spaying or neutering their pets. You may also find that your pet is not welcome in some dog parks and boarding facilities if it has not been altered. Socially, unaltered dogs are not very acceptable, and you may find it easier to have a dog in a social environment if it has been been sterilized.
Many countries around the world provide assistance to pet owners who need their dogs spayed or neutered. These programs provide free or low cost operations, and they may also offer other important veterinary care, such as vaccinations, as well. In addition, animals you adopt from an animal shelter or pound are often sterilized to help reduce pet overpopulation. By adopting from a shelter and altering your pets, you can help to reduce the problem of unwanted animals.