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Why You Should Get Your Dog Fixed



shocked dogWhen you head out and decide to get a puppy, one thing you’ll find is that pretty much every rescue or shelter only offers dogs that have been spayed or neutered. Ever wonder why that is? Well, the basic reason is very simple and it all comes down to the desire to prevent the spread of strays. But are there any other benefits or risks involved with getting your pet fixed? There are indeed, so here’s what you should know regarding altering your pet.

Dogs, like cats, are currently overflowing animal shelters across the world. The reason is that too often, a new owner will adopt an unfixed pooch and then let them wander about unchecked, typically leading them to find other unfixed dogs and immediately start breeding. This is why you get the usual cliché of one dog owner walking up to another dog owner’s house with a box full of puppies, saying that they belong to him because of his randy dog. You’ll more commonly find this in the country where dogs are able to roam freely, but it still happens frequently enough in the suburbs that it’s a problem.

When your dog is fixed, they are altered so that they can neither become pregnant nor do the impregnating. With a female this involves removing the uterus and ovaries, whereas it’s a big simpler for males (removing the testicles). Either way, the pet is then ensured not to add to the growing problem of strays and shelter overcrowding.

The biggest benefit happens to be the no pregnancy thing, though that’s not all. Females spayed early enough are at lower risk for ovarian and uterine cancers, and can’t have any pregnancy-related complications as they can’t get pregnant. Plus, they don’t go into heat in the same way, making them a lot easier to deal with. Males are much the same way as their aggression levels typically lower, particularly around females, and they are less likely to feel the need to mark their territory by urinating on things, which is one of the biggest plusses associated with neutering your dog.

But along with this come some negative side effects, most typically a general lethargy in males that can lead to increased risk of weight gain and hyperthyroidism. Also, both sexes tend to have oddly higher rates of specific types of cancer and urinary tract infections. Even sadder, studies have shown that neutered dogs have a slightly higher chance of developing cognitive impairment problems sooner than intact dogs.

Of these problems though, the increase is typically minimal, though the risk of pregnancy drops to 0% in all cases. It’s really a tough call, especially if you someday hope to breed your pet, but most of the time the answer seems pretty clear: Snip snip. Talk to your vet and get their opinion, but when in doubt and if you let your dog wander, it’s best to lean towards getting your dog fixed.


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