Neutering in dogs is a surgical procedure in which the testicles are removed in the male and the ovaries, or ovaries and uterus, in the female. These procedures are carried out to prevent dogs from reproducing.
Are neutering and sterilization the same thing?
Canine sterilization is a simpler and less invasive technique in which the seminiferous ducts are sectioned in male dogs and the fallopian tubes are tied in bitches. This procedure prevents reproduction, but the dog maintains its sex organs and sexual behaviour.
Consequently, we do not eliminate hormone-related problems, such as behavioural problems like territorial marking, aggressiveness, chasing females in heat, etc.
Should I neuter my dog?
In most cases, the advantages of neutering far outweigh the disadvantages. Nevertheless, neutering isn’t the ideal solution for all dogs. It’s important to discuss this with your vet, as there are individual factors that make each case different.
Advantages of neutering
Spaying bitches can have many advantages, especially if done before her first or second heat. In addition to eliminating the risk of unwanted or unexpected pregnancies, spayed bitches have a significantly lower risk of breast cancer and, by having their uterus removed, they are not at risk of developing pyometra – potentially life-threatening infections – or uterine cancer.
This process can also be beneficial to males, but age isn’t such a decisive factor for them. Castrated males are much less likely to suffer prostate and testicular diseases. Furthermore, many uncastrated males show undesirable behaviour induced by sex hormones – such as inappropriate mounting or escaping in search of bitches, all of which can be dangerous.
Disadvantages of neutering
Neutered dogs tend to be overweight and obese. This problem can be solved with the right diet and daily exercise. They are also at increased risk of urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence often occurs in bitches that have been spayed at less than 8 months of age.
All surgical interventions have risks of anaesthesia and surgery. This disadvantage needs to be mentioned, but in practice, the risk is very low.