There is a lot you do to take care of your dog. From providing access to regular exercise to feeding him well to giving him vaccines to prevent disease, you make a difference in his health. Choosing to neuter your male dog can also bring along a lot of benefits for both you and him. Today, we will go over the 6 most common signs your dog needs to be neutered. From becoming territorial to health reasons, we will help you decide whether you should neuter your dog.
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Why Neuter Your Dog?
Neutering involves removing the ability of your male dog to reproduce. Technically, the term “neutering” refers to the procedure done on male dogs, while “spaying” is the term used for a similar procedure for female dogs. For most dog breeds, this process can be done when the dog is as old as 8 weeks old.
However, some veterinarians may suggest waiting until your dog has approached their puberty timeline, which is about when they are six to eight months. Typically, it’s often recommended to do it as early as possible. Not only does this tend to be easier for the puppy, but it also eliminates the risk of health concerns or behavioral issues from developing later on in life. It’s a procedure performed by your veterinarian and is very common.
Following the neutering procedure, they may take a few days to recover as they heal. They may also feel slight pain with their stitches and potentially emotional changes. For dogs who need to wear a cone around their neck to prevent them from licking, they may also require an extra level of love as they recover.
While it may come with some initial discomfort and adjustment, it can be an important step in preventing several types of issues from developing from both a physical and behavioral health perspective.
Reasons It May Be Time to Neuter Your Dog
How do you know if it’s time to neuter your dog? It may be an important decision to make for both your dog and your family. Knowing when the right time is to neuter your dog is important in preserving both their physical and emotional health.
If you’re considering if now is the time to neuter your dog, here we share a few signs of why now may be the right time and reason for neutering your dog.
1. You Want to Limit The Dog Population in Your Home
With your dog’s inability to produce more puppies, there limits the chance of overpopulation of dogs. While dog breeders tend to do fairly well, there are also several dogs living in shelters and kennels without homes.
In addition to preventing overpopulation, neutering your dog also ensures that you won’t have to be taking care of a lot of puppies at one time, should you have a female dog that gets pregnant. While puppies may be adorable, they’re often much more than a single dog owner can handle at a time.
2. You Want to Prevent Certain Diseases
For male dogs, testicular cancer is a common cause of death. When dogs are neutered, this risk of cancer is eliminated. Even if your dog is old and you may notice some signs of testicular cancer, neutering them may prevent further concerns. To prevent the risk of your puppy from developing testicular cancer later on in life, have them neutered while they’re still young.
In addition to preventing testicular cancer, neutering also reduces the risk of prostate diseases, such as an enlarged prostate. Again, this can help care for your dog’s health in a preventative manner.
3. You Want to Improve Their Behavior
Testosterone is a hormone in male dogs that can make them fairly dominant and aggressive. They can be highly competitive with other dogs and very territorial of their space and people. These surges of testosterone can bring along some negative effects on your dog’s overall temperament.
When a dog is neutered, the level of testosterone is lowered. This may help to solve negative or aggressive behavioral patterns you’ve noticed in your dog. It may also address behaviors like humping or roaming and other dominance-related actions that can bring negative impressions. While neutering certainly won’t solve all behavioral problems, it may help contribute to a more friendly and less aggressive temperament.
4. You Want Them to Stop Marking Their Territory
Another element of their behavior that is addressed with neutering is their territorial need for marking areas of the house by peeing. This aligns with their competitive nature. When they are neutered, this need for marking their space is lessened. They don’t have such a need to let everyone around them know what’s theirs and where they have been.
Keep in mind that especially when it comes to temperament and behavior, it’s important to have your puppy neutered early on in life. This, along with proper training and discipline, can help you raise a happy, healthy and obedient dog. In addition, neutering typically helps with dogs marking less.
5. Your Dog Has a Genetic Concern
It may be best to neuter your dog to prevent future generations of dogs from developing genetic disorders and defects, such as hip dysplasia or cataracts. This helps to improve the breed of the dog and not have those inheritable traits and conditions passed down to future puppies. We highly recommend that if your puppy has a known genetic defect, you consider neutering them so they don’t continue to pass down this trait to their offspring.
6. Your Dog Likes to Escape
Sometimes, dogs who have not been neutered will feel the need to go out and find themselves a partner. While it’s a characteristic within their nature, having a dog that always is looking to get away to find himself a girl can bring problems for you as his owner. Having them neutered may lessen this craving to go out and find a partner.
Decide if Now is the Time to Neuter Your Dog
While it may not be the most pleasant experience, neutering your dog can bring about several benefits for your dog’s health and behavior. If you’re considering if now is the right time to neuter your puppy or adult dog, it may be worth a conversation with your veterinarian. He or she can identify any issues or concerns in which neutering would help resolve. Having your dog neutered can be a practical and valuable way to support your dog’s health and prevent them from aggressive behavior. We hope that you enjoyed our article on the most common signs when a dog needs to be neutered.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do dogs need to be neutered for daycare?
Most doggie daycares require that your dog is either spayed or neutered. This helps to prevent unwanted pregnancies and potentially aggressive behavior towards another dog. However, there are some daycares that will allow your dog to play during the day if they are not neutered (typically only up to 6 or 7 months old though). Once they are past a certain age limit or a female dog has had its first heat cycle, they won’t be allowed into daycare. You’ll need to call each dog daycare as all their procedures are different.
Do dogs need to be neutered to be boarded?
Most dog boarding programs will recommend that your dog be neutered or spayed before joining group play or being around other dogs. However, some boarding programs will allow an intact male dog into their boarding program prior to a certain age. Most of the time, if your dog is older than 6 or 7 months and not neutered, they will not allow them into their boarding program especially if there are other dogs around. However, each facility operates differently so it’s best that you call them.
Does a male dog need to be neutered?
No, a male dog does not necessarily have to be neutered. The most common reason not to neuter a male dog is if your want to become a dog breeder. However, most people neither their male dog because it significantly reduces health risks such as prostate diseases. Additionally, it can reduce aggressive behavior towards other dogs, especially female dogs who are in heat.
At what age should a male dog be neutered?
Males are usually neutered between 5 and 10 months of age, depending on breed and size. Breeds like the Golden Retriever have significant health benefits when neutered after a year. In addition, some breeds may have an increased risk of hypothyroidism compared to those neutered after a year.
Are male dogs calmer after being neutered?
The most common behavior problems in dogs are associated with aggression in the form of primary dominance and impulse control. That said, it’s always best to work with a positive dog trainer and your veterinarian because diagnosing the problem can be difficult and should not be based on a single event.
Punishment in any form is counterproductive and will only make the situation worse. Neutering will help but not right away. VCA Animal Hospital explains that ” Reproductive status does play a role in behavior, but it is not the dominant influence over animal behavior.”
How do male dogs act when not neutered?
The absence of testosterone has numerous benefits in that it does slowly, over time, lessen or diminish certain behaviors like humping, territorial aggression, and increased risk-taking. That said, neutering does not change your dog’s personality but may allow for him to be easier to train positively.
Victoria Stilwell adds that “Spaying or neutering dogs that are already showing aggressive tendencies might not help reduce these tendencies and might cause the behavior to increase, so behavioral therapy is needed along with neutering to ensure that the aggressive behavior is addressed appropriately.”
Is there any reason not to neuter your dog?
Early spay and neuter before five months of age may result in orthopedic issues with growth plates and may delay the process and alter the angle of the joints, allowing for a higher incidence of arthritis and injury.
Some opponents of early neuter add that deprivation of sexual hormones and development through puberty may allow for long-lasting psychological and physical harm.
There may be other potential issues like higher risks of certain types of cancer and obesity. Cancer types include prostatic adenocarcinoma, transitional cell carcinoma, lymphoma, and hemangiosarcoma.
The takeaway from this is that although there are certain risks involved, neutering offers numerous long-term benefits like reducing behavioral problems and even preventing some cancers like testicular tumors.
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