Is your dog’s libido a little too high? Or is your dog really difficult to control around other dogs? Here you can learn about all the health benefits involved in neutering a dog and how neutering can change your dog’s behaviour for the better.
Neutering is when a dog’s reproductive organs are removed to make them sterile. The word ‘neutering’ applies to both sexes, whereas “castration” commonly applies to males and “spaying” for females. Both of these terms are also often referred to as “fixing”.
A Basset Hound sitting down with lovely droopy eyes
Getting Your Dog Spayed
To save you from some unexpected little puppies it is a good idea to have your female dog (bitch) spayed. Spaying a bitch involves removing the ovaries and the uterus. It has great benefits to a bitch’s health and behaviour and can dramatically lower the risk of breast cancer, especially if they are spayed before their first estrus cycle.
A Boston Terrier outside on a walk squinting in the sun
Dog Spaying Recovery
Dogs can usually be taken home on the same day of the operation as the wounds heal quite quickly. It is important that you make sure your dog doesn’t scratch or bite her stitches, otherwise you will have to arrange another appointment to have new ones put back in. Your vet will provide your dog with an Elizabethan Collar to prevent her from licking the wound as this can slow down the healing process. They will also arrange a follow up appointment for the week after the operation to make sure that everything is okay, and then arrange another appointment for around 10 weeks after the operation to remove any external stitches.
A Golden Retriever wearing an Elizabethan Collar
To find out more about how to care for your bitch after an operation, read here.
The vet will shave your dog’s hair in the areas where the operation will take place, but it should grow back within a few months. After the operation you must keep your dog very calm. Vigorous exercise is not recommended as the stitches might be pulled out, so keep exercise minimal until they have been removed.
Your dog will be under general anaesthetic during the operation, which will make her quite drowsy and uneasy on her feet. Allow her time to recover and rest whilst supervising her to make sure that she is okay, as well as giving her plenty of TLC.
How Will Spaying Change Your Dog?
Getting your dog spayed can make a very noticeable difference to your dog’s behaviour. It can also make a very important change to your dog’s medical risks. The age at which you choose to spay your female dog can drastically change the risk of developing cancer. Below are the medical and behavioural changes that spaying a female dog can make.
Getting your bitch spayed before her first estrus cycle significantly reduces the risk of her developing mammary cancer (breast cancer), which is actually quite common in dogs that are not spayed. If you haven’t had your bitch spayed before her first estrus cycle, don’t worry, it isn’t too late. Getting your dog spayed will still reduce the risk of her developing cancerous mammary tumors.
Older dogs are at an increased risk to ovarian or uterine cancer. Getting your dog spayed will completely eliminate the chance of developing either of these types of cancer.
Pyometra is a life threatening condition that affects 25% of dogs over the age of 10. The risk of dogs developing this condition is also eliminated when dogs are neutered, though Stump Pyometra can still occur in spayed females.
Neutering a female dog means that there is 0% risk of pregnancy or false pregnancies, which is great if your dog is regularly in contact with other male dogs.
A wonderful little Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy lying down on a bench
Some unspayed female dogs will fight to compete for the attention of other male dogs. Quite often females show less aggression towards dogs and people after they have been spayed.
During ovulation many female dogs experience mood swings due to changes in hormones. Spaying your female dog will help to prevent these mood swings as these hormonal changes will no longer occur.
When in heat a large majority of female dogs wander off in search for male dogs. Whilst roaming it is not uncommon for bitches to get injured or even killed by traffic. Spaying your female dog will dramatically lower her need to roam whilst in heat.
A Lhasa Apso sitting beautifully on the grass
How Much Does Spaying Cost?
The cost of getting a bitch spayed will vary with the size and weight of the dog, but generally the average cost of spaying a dog is around £180, assuming that there is no overnight stay cost. Always check with your vet first because prices may vary considerably.
Getting Your Dog Castrated
If you are a man then reading this might make you squirm, but it is important to know that castration can be really beneficial to a dog’s health and temperament. Read on to find out more.
A very tired Weimaraner resting his head on the grass
Male castration (neutering) is the removal of both testicles, which prevent him from producing semen. It is most effective when your dog is approaching sexual maturity, but you may get him neutered at any stage in his life. You may notice an increase in weight after your dog has been neutered, so watch his food intake and keep him active. It is very common for owners to get their dogs neutered to eradicate certain behavioural problems. Most dogs will show the effect of a lower sex drive and will show less desire to wander off shortly after the operation. However, dogs that already have sexual experience may not be discouraged to mate.
Dog Castration Recovery
It is important that you dog doesn’t lick his wound as this will slow down the healing process and might even open up the wound to infection. An Elizabethan Collar should be provided by your vet which will prevent your dog from reaching around and irritating his wound. Your vet will also arrange a check up appointment, usually for the following week to see how your dog is getting on.
Try not to exercise your dog too much after being castrated, avoid running and jumping to prolong the hold on the stitches. General anaesthetic is used during the castration operation so your dog will appear very sleepy and maybe even unstable on his feet. Allow him to rest and recover, but keep him under supervision. To find out more about how to care for your dog after an operation, read here.
How Will Castrating Change Your Dog?
Castrating your dog can make a noticeable behavioural difference and can also benefit your dog’s health. It can reduce your dog’s sexual libido as well as lower the risk of testicular and prostate cancer. Below is a list of medical and behavioural changes that castrating a male dog can make.
The risk of testicular cancer is eliminated when dogs are neutered as the testicles are removed. Male castration reduces the risk of developing prostatic and perianal tumours which can be life threatening to all dog breeds.
A massive Saint Bernard with a beautiful thick coat
Castrating can reduce sexual activity such as humping, urine spraying and aggression towards other dogs as it decreases the production of hormones (mainly testosterone). Wandering can be a common behaviour in non-castrated male dog, especially if there is a bitch on heat near by. This is reduced when your dog is castrated. Castrating a male dog can also generally calm him down, which is particularly helpful when attempting to control an overly active dog.
A Whippet stretched out running at full pelt
How Much Does It Cost To Castrate A Dog?
The average price for male dog castration cost about £60, but always check with your vet first because prices may vary considerably.