On Neutering and Spaying Dogs

When your dog is a female, you'll want to choose whether or not she should be spayed. Ovariohysterectomy or spaying, is the removal of the ovaries, uterus, and cervix. It is a procedure often executed to forbid a female from being bred and bearing puppies. Spaying eliminates the female's three-week "season" that attracts male dogs to her. On her season, which occurs around every six months, you'd have to keep her fenced in indoors or board her in a doghouse to keep her from being unexpectedly bred.
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The most beneficial time to spay a female is prior to her first heat period, or when she's between six and eight months old. The procedure can be done at any age, but the earlier it's done, the less complicated the operation is. At this age, healing takes about a week, and in from two to three weeks, the patient is back to usual. At first, however, physical effort, especially running up the stairs and jumping, must be avoided.

When your dog is a male, and you don't want him to sire puppies, he can be castrated or neutered. Neutering, or orchiectomy, is an operation involving the tying of the spermatic cords and the removal of the testicles. The best time to do this operation is if a male is about six and eight months old, before he turns sexually mature and before bad habits are grounded.
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Spaying and neutering makes dogs more contented and affectionate but less aggressive. Males are less likely to stray and find fights. On average, spayed and neutered dogs live healthier and longer lives. About half of the unspayed females acquire breast and ovarian tumors as they age. Spaying (especially prior to the first heat) tremendously cuts down the risks of breast cancer and uterine and ovarian disease. As un-neutered males age, they often suffer from enlarged prostate glands, testicular tumors, or cancer of the prostate. Neutering brings down these risks.

What are the down sides of spaying and neutering? Neutered animals are ineligible to contend in the show ring. Of course, a female can never give birth, and a male will never sire puppies. For those who like a dog merely as a pet, watchdog, companion, or guard, however, these matters are not disadvantages. On the other hand, if you must plan to get your dog in shows, or to breed your female or use your male at stud at some future time, then definitely she must not be spayed and he must not be neutered.

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