There are numerous health benefits to spaying or neutering your dog. While many people are aware that spaying and neutering can cut down on pet overpopulation, some are reluctant to spay or neuter. They reason that if they carefully supervise their dog they won’t contribute to a pet overpopulation problem, and many are reluctant to put their beloved dog through surgery. Spaying or neutering your dog, however, is one of the best health decisions you can make. Here are the health benefits of spaying or neutering your dog.
Health Benefits of Spaying Your Dog
Spaying your female dog removes her uterus and eliminates the possibility of pregnancy and ongoing heat cycles. Perhaps the most important health benefit of spaying your dog is the elimination of uterine infections. Uterine infections are frequently fatal to dogs and can actually result in the rupture of the uterus, a potentially fatal and costly veterinary emergency. Every time a female dog completes a heat cycle, the lining of her uterus is altered, increasing the likelihood of a uterine infection. These infections are very common, but their risk is completely eliminated in spayed dogs.
Breast cancer is increasingly common in female dogs, and spaying your dog before her first heat dramatically decreases her likelihood of contracting this deadly disease. Breast cancer is fatal in approximately 50 percent of dogs, and the cost of treating it can be prohibitive. Spay your dog and avoid this unnecessary pain and suffering for both of you.
While breast cancer and uterine infections are the most common illnesses occurring in unspayed dogs, there are other illnesses spaying can prevent. These include false pregnancies, which can be incredibly stressful for dogs and owners. Mastitis, an infection of the mammary glands, is extremely painful and potentially fatal. Spaying almost completely eliminates the risk of your dog contracting mastitis. Your dog will also have no risk of ovarian or uterine cancer, ovarian cysts, and uterine prolapse.
Finally, pregnancy is dangerous for female dogs and many female dogs require medical intervention to give birth. An unintended pregnancy can be catastrophic both for your female’s health and for your family’s stress level.
Health Benefits of Neutering Your Dog
The process of removing the testes of male dogs is known as neutering, and is well-known to prevent territorial aggression, housetraining problems, and other behavioral problems in male dogs. Neutering also has important health benefits. Neutering your male dog prevents testicular cancer, which is increasingly common among unneutered male dogs. It also prevents problems with the prostate. Male dogs, especially older male dogs, are prone to chronic and acute prostate infections, which can be both fatal and very expensive to treat.
Neutering your male dog will also prevent perineal hernias, a highly painful condition. Male dogs are also prone to venereal tumors, which can be fatal, and which neutering prevents.
There is also evidence that spaying and neutering dogs can prevent other forms of cancer, even in the organs that are not removed. Being repeatedly subjected to hormonal cycles is stressful to both dogs and owners, but can also be bad for dogs’ internal organs. Given that breeding your dog will only contribute to the shelter dog population and that your dog does not need his or her reproductive organs if he or she does not breed (or will not breed again), the health and societal benefits of spaying or neutering your dog or overwhelming. Make an appointment with your vet to ensure your dog’s continued and lifelong health today!