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Whether you’re a current pet parent, you’re thinking about adding a dog to your family, or you’ve ever watched an episode of The Price Is Right, chances are, you’ve probably heard that spaying or neutering your dog is extremely important.
But why is that? What are some of the benefits to spaying and neutering—for you, for your pup, and for canines at large?
Why Should You Spay/Neuter Your Dog?
Clearly, the message is out there—spaying and neutering is a good thing for your dog. But what are the reasons behind it? Why should you spay or neuter your dog?
Your Dog Will Be Healthier!
The first (and most important!) reason you should spay or neuter your pup? Because spaying and neutering has some serious health benefits.
Spaying your female dog can not only help keep uterine infections at bay, but spaying can also prevent mammary tumors—which prove to be cancerous and/or malignant in a large percentage (about half) of dogs.
For the male dogs, neutering is just as beneficial—it helps prevent prostate issues and testicular cancer, which can help to extend your pup’s lifespan.
Your Dog Will Be Better Behaved!
In addition to the medical benefits, spaying and neutering has some definite behavioral benefits as well.
First off, dogs that are spayed or neutered are less likely to wander far from your home. When dogs aren’t spayed or neutered, they will have a strong biological urge to mate (especially when the female dog is in heat). This urge will cause your dog to take a “by any means necessary” approach to finding their mate; unaltered dogs have been known to do everything from dig holes to jump fences to break doors in an attempt to find a mate—so spaying or neutering your dog is a must to ensure they don’t escape in search of their canine companion (and put themselves in danger in the process).
Also, dogs that are spayed or neutered don’t have as many hormones in play—which typically makes them calmer and better behaved overall. Male dogs, in particular, are less likely to act aggressively or mark their territory after being neutered (which are behaviors often associated with testosterone). This can make it much easier for your pup to interact positively with other dogs (not to mention keep them from “marking their territory” all over your house!).
Also, that whole mounting/humping things that male dogs tend to do? Typically, that’s much less of a problem after you neuter.
It’s More Cost-Effective For You!
Another practical benefit to spaying or neutering your dog is that it’s much more cost effective over the long-term.
Is there an up-front cost to spaying or neutering your pet? Yes. But that fee is nominal, and when you consider how much it would cost to take care of a litter of puppies or deal with testicular cancer or a breast tumor—all of which are real risks of not spaying or neutering your dog—the fee pays for itself many, many times over.
It’s Good For The World!
Clearly, spaying or neutering is good for you. It’s good for your dog. But the benefits of spraying and neutering are bigger than that. Spaying and neutering is good for the entire canine population at large.
According to the ASPCA, approximately 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters every year—and 670,000 of them are euthanized. Spaying and neutering reduces the overall number of dogs on the streets and in the shelters—and gives those dogs that are already in shelters a better chance at finding their forever homes.
Want more information about spaying and neutering? Check out these organizations
If you want to learn more about spaying and neutering your dog (or find spay and neuter options in your area), here are a few resources you’ll definitely want to check out:
Want to get your dog spayed or neutered—but don’t have the funds? The ASPCA has a searchable database of low-cost spay and neuter providers across the US.
SPCA International runs a number of global initiatives to promote and develop spay and neuter clinics around the world (ongoing missions including Tanzania, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, and Thailand).
Spayathon for Puerto Rico
In 2018, the Humane Society of the United States formed a coalition with 22 other global organizations (including GreaterGood.org, PetSmart Charities, and Petco Foundation) to roll out Spayathon for Puerto Rico, a year-long initiative that aims to provide high-quality spay and neuter training to veterinary professionals on the island—as well as spay or neuter 20,000 dogs (at no cost to owners!) by May 2019.
Bottom line: Spay/Neuter Your Dog!
Obviously, there are a lot of benefits to spaying or neutering your dog. Your pup will be healthier and less likely to struggle with serious health issues. Your pup will be better behaved. You’ll save money—and you’ll be doing your part to manage the canine population, keeping dogs off the streets and out of shelters.
Spaying or neutering your dog is one of the best things you can do for your dog’s health and happiness (as well as for the larger dog population as a whole). So, bottom line, when it comes to spaying or neutering your dog? No excuses—just get it done. Your dog will thank you!
To learn more about the benefits of spaying and neutering your pets (and why it’s so important), visit the ASPCA’s Spay/Neuter Your Pet page.