Why is it so important to neuter dogs? - News - Leicester Animal Aidfeature image

Why is it so important to neuter dogs?

We all love our pets, which is why the idea of neutering them might be something we don’t instantly feel comfortable with. We don’t like to think of our pets in pain, and we might be worried that neutering would make them uncomfortable. 

And it’s perhaps for this reason that Direct Line found as many as 1.7m dogs in the UK have not been neutered by their owners – despite as many as 82% of vets saying they think animals should undergo the treatment.

With all that in mind, would it shock you to know that your dog is more likely to benefit from being neutered than if left untreated? 

Today we’re going to assess some of the key reasons why getting a dog spayed or neutered is actually important, both from a physical and mental health perspective. 

A calmer temperament 

While some people might worry their dog is going to change forever as a result of being neutered, it’s only certain habits which might differ. And, in a lot of cases, these are likely to be things you’d rather do without anyway. 

The hormones lost to neutering are often those which play the biggest role in your dog’s aggression, dominance and territorial marking. They’re still going to like the same treats and activities afterwards, but you’re just less likely to experience more confrontational behaviours.

Lowers the risk of cancer 

Something which you might overlook when considering neutering or spaying your dogs is its impact on their long term health. In reality, it’s actually one of the most effective ways to reduce testicular cancer in males and mammary cancer in females. 

In most cases, this is as a direct result of removing the part of your dog’s body which is likely to develop some form of cancerous growth. Again though, the removal of something which generates a lot of potentially dangerous hormones helps to reduce risk. 

Many dog breeds are prone to enough health problems as it is, so it will be a weight off your mind to reduce their cancer risk. 

Overbreeding issues 

It goes without saying that failing to neuter or spay your dog will drastically increase the chances of them having puppies. While this sounds like a barrel of laughs, it often causes more problems for the pet’s original owner. 

It may become your responsibility to properly care for and rehome these dogs, which can be a very costly and time-consuming experience. What’s more, you will also be contributing to an ever-increasing issue in the form of overbreeding. 

With consumer demand higher than ever as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, breeds like labradors, cockapoos and pugs are being put at risk, owing to the volume of dogs which are being produced.

Removing the heat cycle 

While this only applies to female dogs, it can be a massive help if you’re an owner who’s concerned about dealing with the regular threat of heat. There are a number of reasons why removing this regular part of their life cycle will have a positive impact on your pet:

A reduced risk of pyometra  – a common life-threatening condition which often occurs in the uterus 
Less attention from males who are trying to breed with her 
No mess around the house, and no need for sanitary pads 
Removes the unpleasant odour which occurs during the heat cycle 

Remember, while spaying or neutering your dog might not be something you feel totally comfortable with doing, it’s actually a benefit for your pet. When you do decide to get it done, make sure to run a vet through any specific issues your dog might already have. 

While we’ve been focusing on the importance of neutering dogs in this article, any cat owners who may be reading this should rest assured that many of the same benefits also apply to their beloved whiskered friend.