Neutering is a surgical procedure that includes the removal of the testes.
"Will neutering help my dog or not?" is a question that comes to every new dog owner's mind. Many pet owners do not consider neutering as crucial as it is. Neutering was initially practiced to prevent the overpopulation of dogs but later revealed that it has many health benefits for the dog itself.
Keeping in mind the complications of neutering, you might be confused about whether to get your pup neutered or not. It is a tough decision to make, imagining the pain and discomfort your dog will go through. However, the choice becomes relatively more straightforward regarding the dog's health.
6 Benefits of Neutering a Dog
Here are some of the benefits neutering offers to your dog. Let's discuss them in detail.
Neutering Reduces the Risk of Developing Diseases
The very first benefit neutering offers to a dog is good health. It reduces the chances of developing testicular cancer, which is quite common in unaltered dogs at older ages. No testes, no testicular diseases.
Another disease that can be prevented by neutering is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. It usually develops in dogs who have not gone through neutering at an early age. It can also cause urinary tract infections and lead to difficulty in urination. Here's where neutering comes to the rescue: it prevents the risk of developing such diseases.
Neutering Prevents Unduly Dog Population
The percentage of stray dogs has been increasing with each passing day. There are a number of homeless pups wandering on the streets of the U.S.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 200 million stray dogs are present worldwide. You can play your part in the community by preventing the overpopulation of dogs. This is only possible if you get your pet neutered. When going for a morning walk in the street, an unneutered dog will always get attracted to a stray female dog. Usually, your dog will make their way to the female to mate and produce more stray dogs.
Neutering Helps Improve Behavior
After neutering, you'll notice a massive difference in your dog's behavior. For assurance, you can compare a neutered dog with an unaltered dog, and you'll see the difference. The unaltered dog will demonstrate more aggression and will seek out female dogs to mate with. How does neutering make a dog docile? Just have a look!
Testosterone is a reproductive hormone responsible for sexual characteristics and behavior in male dogs. Neutering cause to stop the production of testosterone. This reduces the libido and sex drive in the dog, and they are less likely to seek out a mating partner. Moreover, they will have less aggression. Hence, it will also protect them from getting into any fight with a male dog.
If your dog is not neutered yet, you may notice him being a little pushy or trying to pull you against the leash. He is in the mindset that he is the dominate male and he thinks he is in charge. You may notice that he pulls you just about anywhere he wants instead of where you want. Neutering can lower his rank from this dominate male status because of the lower testosterone. This will help you have more leash control, have safer and calmer walks.
A Neutered Dog Lives Longer
Think about an unneutered dog developing malignant diseases like testicular cancer. A dog's life with such a fatal disease is tricky. Still, the life expectancy is also less than a healthier dog without these diseases.
Data shows that the average life of an unneutered dog is 7.9 years, and a neutered dog is 9.4 years. As unneutered dogs are less likely to roam around and get into a fight with other dogs in public, there are fewer chances of an accident.
Reduces Urine Marking
Another routine that might bother the dog owners is the urine markings. As a dog reaches puberty, they develop a habit of marking their territory by urinating at different spots. It is often done by stray dogs to leave a message for other dogs that this is my territroy. It is likely to notice such behavior in your pet too.
Neutering is always recommended in a dog with such behavior. It's good to take a step towards neutering before your dog starts showing embarrassing activities. If you haven't already neutered and your dog begins urine marking, get him fixed, and he'll stop in a matter of weeks. It will surely make the training process more manageable.
Neutering is a Financial Benefit
Neutering is often considered a financial burden as the surgery is quite expensive. But things are not the same if you see the other side. The medical expenses of an unneutered dog who has developed fatal diseases like testicular cancer or prostate cancer are much more than the neutering process.
The medications and vet visits will cost you more in the long run than a one-time neuter process. Even if you consider vaccination to prevent your dog from several infections, it will still cost you an arm and leg.
Neutering Prevents Passing Bad Genetics
Some dogs are born with bad confirmation and other risky genetics that can be passed on to their offspring. Listed below are some genetics that can be passed on.
Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS)
Sloping Back (German Shepards)
Von Willebrand Disease
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Not testing the breeding dogs for genetic diseases has led to many breeds suffering from a variety of debilitating illnesses. If you are looking to buy a dog, be sure to know every step your breeder has taken to ensure these genetic diseases are not present in your dog. Some of these diseases will not be present until the dog matures.
Even if you are not planning on breeding, your dog may find a way to mate with females in heat. Be a responsible owner and prevent passing genetic diseases by getting your dog neutered. As mentioned above, neutering also helps prevent testicular cancer, bad behaviors, urine marking and more.
Remember this: your dog will not miss his testicles and neutering does not make him less of a male.
The Right Time to Neuter a Dog
There's always a right time to perform any task. The same goes for neutering. Sooner or later testies can cause complications that can lead to severe health conditions. The best age for neutering your dog is between six and nine months. If you get him neutered earlier than six months, he can become obese and lazy or may develop hypothyroidism due to hormonal changes. Neutering late has a greater risk of developing sexually related diseases.
However, there is a difference in breeds. Larger breeds should delay neutering because they reach puberty later than smaller breeds. If larger breeds get neutered earlier than the required time, it will compromise their growth. So, the best option is to consult a vet to discuss the right time to fix your dog.
Post-Op Care of Your Dog
Taking care of your dog after surgery is crucial to avoid complications. Here are some measures you may take for speedy recovery and protection of your pup.
Infection is the most common complication after surgery, and it is best to avoid it. Clear signs of infection include discharge, excessive swelling, and odor at the surgical site. If you notice any symptoms, contact your vet immediately.
Dogs have a habit of licking their body, and you have to stop it, so he doesn't lick the surgical site. If he does so, there are chances of infection. Your vet may recommend an Elizabeth cone for this purpose.
Restrict the activity of the dog to minimize swelling. Give him complete rest for two weeks after surgery. If you allow movement too soon, there are chances of reopening the incision site.
Make sure to ease the pain and discomfort after the surgical procedure. The vet often gives pain medications. There are also complementary care options for pain management and healing that are more natural. You can try light therapy for quicker healing and reducing pain naturally.
How can light therapy help your neutered dog?
After the surgery, the dog suffers pain and inflammation during recovery. Diet and painkillers can help without any doubt, but light therapy is something that can speed up the healing. How? When light is absorbed in the body, the photoreceptors are activated, which increases energy inside the animal's cell. This boosts the effect of power, improves the blood flow to the incision site, and speeds healing.
Moreover, light therapy can reduce pain by activating pain inhibitors. It slows down the pain receptors from reaching the brain, and ultimately pain is reduced. Red light therapy is most effective in such cases. You can also add light therapy as a complementary care during the post-neutering of your dog.
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