As a dog owner, we know you strive to keep your pup healthy and happy. Along with providing the basics, including nutrient-rich foods, fresh water, plenty of love, and protection, regular vet visits are essential to ensure your canine is living his or her best life.
Virtually every reputable pet expert recommends spaying or neutering your pooch—and for good reason. From improving your dog’s behavior, physical and mental health, and quality of life to expanding his or her life span, there are a myriad of reasons to get your dog spayed or neutered, which we’ve listed for you below:
Medical Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Dog
Whether your dog is a male or female, you’ll want to get him or her “fixed.” Here’s why:
1. Your Dog Will Likely Live Longer
Over the years, studies have shown that spayed dogs tend to live longer. In fact, research suggests that the life span of spayed dogs is 23% longer than unspayed pups.
There’s also good news for owners of male canines. A long-running study conducted by the University of Georgia found that sterilized dogs—both male and female—lived an average of 9.4 years as opposed to their unsterilized counterparts, who lived just 7.9 years on average.
So, why do spayed and neutered dogs tend to live longer lives? There are several reasons. When a female dog is spayed, she’s less likely to develop uterine infections and breast tumors, which are found to be cancerous in about 50% of cases. For the best protection, WebMD recommends having your dog spayed between 3 and 6 months of age.
Neutering your male pooch will help ward off prostate issues and testicular cancer, which can be fatal. In a nutshell, having your pet neutered will increase his lifespan by a whopping 18%, according to WebMD.
Behavioral Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Dog
Along with extending your pup’s life, spaying or neutering your pet has behavioral benefits.
2. Your Dog Will Be Better Behaved
In general, neutered canines exhibit less aggressive behavior and they’re less likely to mount other animals, humans, and inanimate objects. Neutering also decreases spraying indoors, which is an act male dogs engage in to mark their territory.
Female dogs who have not been spayed generally go into heat twice each year. This can be a trying time for dog owners, as females typically urinate in places they shouldn’t, and bleed during these periods. Spaying your pet will make her more comfortable and eliminate the frustration that comes with these behaviors.
3. Your Male Dog Will Be Happier in Your Home
Dogs bring their owners so much joy, and it’s important to keep our furry family members happy as well. Male dogs who have not been neutered often attempt to flee from home to find female mating partners. When you have your male pooch neutered, he’ll likely be more content at home.
Spaying or Neutering Your Dog Will Help You and the Environment
Aside from the physical and mental health benefits you’ll be giving your dog by having him or her neutered or spayed, you’ll save lots of money while helping the environment.
4. You’ll Save Money
While spaying or neutering your pet requires an initial investment, you’ll save money in the long run. Because unspayed and unneutered dogs tend to have more health problems, having your pet fixed will help keep high vet bills at bay.
If you’re looking for low-cost spaying and neutering options, check with your local veterinarian or shelter. Due to the overwhelming pet overpopulation, many shelters spay or neuter pets at a deeply discounted rate.
5. You’ll Help Reduce the Stray Pet Population
According to WebMD, dog reproduction in comparison to human reproduction is 15:1. In other words, female dogs can produce lots of puppies throughout their lifetime.
Approximately 3.3 million dogs are dropped off at shelters each year in the United States, as reported by the ASPCA. Sadly, 670,000 of those canines are euthanized. This is a heartbreaking statistic, as overpopulation is preventable.
When Should You Spay or Neuter Your Dog?
Most pet experts recommend spaying or neutering canines between 6 to 9 months of age. Healthy puppies can be neutered at the eight-week mark, and adult dogs may be neutered at any time, although research suggests that older or obese dogs, and those with health conditions, may be more prone to complications following the procedure. Your dog’s veterinarian will examine your pet to ensure he or she is a good candidate to be neutered or spayed.
Final Thoughts on Spaying and Neutering
At Breed Advisor, we’re keen on keeping our pups—and your pups—healthy and happy. Spaying or neutering your pet will go a long way toward completing that mission.