Neutering your dog: what you need to know

There are many reasons why it’s important to neuter your dog – it benefits you and them.

Many people worry that neutering their pet is not natural, but it is worth remembering that keeping a domesticated pet isn’t a natural situation.

Unwanted puppies are a big problem nationally

Each year thousands of puppies will find themselves abandoned, often the result of unplanned or poorly considered breeding. While some puppies may find homes initially, many find themselves unwanted once the novelty wears off or they get a little bigger.

Dog relationships are different

Dogs don’t recognise family relationships and brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers will mate with each other. If you have an un-neutered male and female living together, no matter how well they are separated, it will only take a split second for them to mate should they meet.

If you don’t neuter a male dog, he will be able to smell female dogs in heat. This will cause him a lot of anxiety and lead to frustration-related behaviours and illnesses.

Neutering will save you money

There are financial implications to your dog having a litter. Specific health tests are required for many dog breeds and birth complications will require expensive veterinary treatment.

Neutering helps temperament and behaviour

Although neutering will not fix all problem behaviours, it can help with roaming, mounting of humans and other dogs, urine marking in the house and some forms of aggression.

Roaming can be a big problem in male dogs. They can smell a female dog in heat from approximately a mile away – no matter how well trained they are, they’re less likely to listen to you when their hormones kick in.

Neutering improves your dog’s health

There are several illnesses more commonly found in un-neutered dogs, many of them fatal. These include womb infections and mammary cancer in females and testicular and prostate cancer in males. Also, pregnancy and giving birth are not without risks for female dogs.

When is the best age to spay a female dog?

Female dogs can be neutered any time after their first season. There’s no evidence that it’s healthier for a pet to have a litter before being spayed. Animals do not experience the same feelings about motherhood as humans do and the first litter for a female is often the most difficult and high risk. Male dogs can be neutered from six months.

Your dog’s recovery time

After neutering, your dog should be back on their food within 24 hours, and their skin should heal within 14 days.

Neutering costs and help available

It can cost anywhere between £100 and £300 to neuter a dog, without accounting for any added complications. Help with neutering costs may be available for certain people on low incomes from Woodgreen, Cats Protection, RSPCA, PDSA, Blue Cross.

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