What are the main reasons for neutering dogs?
1) Owner responsibility and population control: Thousands of unwanted dogs and puppies are destroyed each year, many from litters born as a result of accidental matings.
2) Medical/Health Reasons: Veterinary surgeons may recommend castration for several medical conditions including testicular tumours, enlargement of the prostate, certain types of anal tumours and cryptorchidism (retained testicles). If the testes have not descended into the scrotum by 10 months of age they are unlikely to do so, and are more prone to tumours in later years.
3) Behavioural Problems: As puppies reach puberty at 6-7 months of age, the owner may notice a change in the dog’s behaviour. The first sign is often a lack of obedience, leading to aggression with other dogs and even fights. Other signs include:
- Possessiveness over toys, food, etc
- Territorial behaviour towards visitors
- Roaming: the dog may become an escapologist in order to find receptive females – slipping leads, escaping through fences etc. This increases the risk of road accidents if the dog is roaming unaccompanied.
- Aggression towards other pets/people in the household
This unsociable behaviour can be prevented or subdued by castration from 12 months of age.
Will castration work?
Research shows that following castration, changes in behaviour may take varying times. Of the dogs that are likely to respond, some will do so within 2 weeks, the remainder will respond within 6 months.
Will castration cause my dog to put on weight?
No, as long as you are vigilant. Neutering will reduce metabolic rate (energy usage at rest) by a variable amount and you will need to reduce feeding by this amount to prevent weight gain. We advise free monthly weight checks until we are all happy that the post-op weight management is under control. Unless you want to use a male dog for breeding purposes, there are few advantages and many disadvantages to keeping an entire male.
A castrated dog has fewer medical problems, lives longer on average, does not add to the pet overpopulation and makes a more loyal, loving and rewarding pet.
For further information call us and speak to one of the team.