Benefits of Neutering Your Male Dog

October 23, 2012

Neutering is a term used for surgical sterilization of your pet. In male dogs, castration is the operation done. The testes are both removed at surgery, and so no more sperm or male testosterone hormone is present.

This procedure is quick and painless, and takes about 15 minutes or so. In a young healthy dog it is only very rarely associated with complications. With modern anaesthetics, and close professional monitoring, the typical healthy dog will have very low anesthetic risk. Pain management will ensure he is comfortable throughout the surgical period, and after. The operation will often be done at about six to eight months of age, but it can be done anytime during his life if you have adopted an older intact dog.

Some people have concerns that the dog will gain weight if he has the surgery. Though weight gain is possible because he will expend less energy roaming, it is a straightforward thing to prevent. It is important to feed a balanced diet in amounts suited for weight maintenance, not gain. Plenty of exercise in the neutered dog will help to keep him trim and fit. Regular weigh-ins and checkups will help to ensure he stays in good shape for life. Some people also have concerns that neutering will somehow change his personality. This has not been proven true. The only behaviours that change will be loss of the mating urge, and reduced roaming and fighting.

Benefits of neutering include:

  • Reduced tendency to roam and fight: Testosterone, the male hormone, leads to increase in these behaviours. Roaming in search of females can lead to infections, parasites, being hit by cars, and harmful wildlife encounters. Being picked up by the humane society is another risk of roaming, as not all dogs are successfully reunited with their loving families.
  • Reduced chance of prostate problems: Benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlarged prostate gland) and prostate cancer may develop in intact male dogs.
  • Reduce testis (testicle) cancer risk: If the dog has a testis (or both) retained inside rather than being down in the scrotum, it is especially important to do the surgery to remove them, since retained testes are more likely to become cancerous.
  • Reduced Pet Population: Overpopulation leading to unwanted dogs is a pressing societal problem. A neutered dog cannot contribute to the problems of unwanted pregnancies, and offspring without homes.

Talk to your veterinarian about the procedure – they will be happy to address any questions or concerns you might have.