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Can Dogs Live Longer If They are Neutered?
As responsible pet owners, many people who have dogs decide to get their pooch neutered or spayed in a bid to stop unwanted pregnancies amongst the canine population. With the number of stray dogs and puppies that already roam the streets, this is an important step to take if you want to stop unnecessary suffering.
However, this is not the only benefit of having your dog neutered. Research over recent years has shown that having your male dog neutered could reduce the risk of some potentially fatal conditions.
Signs it May be Time to Get Him Neutered
First off, the term "neuter" actually refers to the sterilization surgeries of both sexes, but it is commonly thought that neutering applies only to males. The actual term for the male-specific surgery is "castration". We're going to go ahead and assume that if you are reading this article, you are curious about the effects of sterilization on males only.
There are certain signs that indicate it may be time for you to get your dog neutered, if this has not already been done. Some dogs start to become increasingly aggressive even though they may have been fine before puberty and there is no obvious reason for the aggression. By having the dog neutered, it reduces testosterone levels and this can help to lower your pet’s aggression levels.
If your dog starts urinating as a means of marking territory, this could be a sign of them leaving their scent for potential mates. Again, this may indicate that it is time for neutering.
Another thing that many dogs do before they are neutered is to start roaming. Of course, no responsible dog owner wants there dog to roam, as it could pose a danger to your dog and to other people and animals if your pet manages to escape. Getting them neutered will usually help to address this problem.
Neutering can have a positive impact on your pet’s behavior but you need to remember that it is not something that will cure a badly behaved pooch – for this, you need to provide proper training.
In order to pick up on signs that your dog may need to be neutered, you should look for body language signals. This could include your dog becoming increasingly and obviously aggressive, which could include baring its teeth, snapping, growling, and barking more.
You may also notice that your dog is urine-marking when he goes out, likely to attract potential mates, which is something that you clearly want to avoid. Your pooch may also seem suddenly desperate to escape from the garden or the leash because he wants to roam. You may notice that your dog has started mounting, which indicates that he is looking for some action and raring to go!
History of Dogs Being Neutered
In the past, many people that owned dogs never bothered to have them neutered. This was not just down to the cost of neutering or the inconvenience involved, but also because many people were totally unaware of the problems associated with not neutering their pet or the benefits that came from having them neutered. This resulted in many unwanted pregnancies amongst female dogs, an increase in the stray dog population, and dogs getting diseases and conditions that could have been avoided had they been neutered.
Fortunately, over recent years people have become far more informed and educated when it comes to pet healthcare. Dog owners have been made aware of the importance of neutering in order to control unwanted pregnancies and reduce the stray dog population.
Science Behind the Neutering Process
So, what exactly is neutering? Well, in short, it involves castration - where the dog’s testicles are removed. This then means that your male dog is not able to impregnate a female dog. Research has also shown that having this procedure carried out means that your male dog is at reduced risk of issues such as testicular or prostate cancer as well as being less prone to roaming, fighting, aggression, and marking.
That being said, other sterilization procedures are being chosen by some due to new research promoting the benefits of natural hormones throughout a dog's life. This is because there is a heightened risk for some breeds to develop bone cancers (among others) from having lowered testosterone or not being allowed to complete puberty.
In the end, it comes down to each owner's specific situation, but as long as you are doing your part to reduce the pet-overpopulation problem while doing what you deem best for your pooch, they will most likely live a long and healthy life.
Preparing for Getting Your Pooch Neutered
Many dog owners are worried about having their dog neutered, as they are nervous that it may prove to be problematic, that their pooch might suffer, or that he may be in pain. However, procedures for both humans and pets have come a long way over recent years, and vets are now able to perform this procedure quickly and conveniently - with your pooch able to go home at the end of the day.
Because your dog is under anesthetic, he won’t feel a thing when the neutering takes place. It is also worth noting that serious complications during neutering are very uncommon.
Before you take your dog in to be neutered, it is always worth speaking with the vet that will be carrying out the procedure. You can then find out all about the benefits and also speak to the vet about any particular risks you are worried about. In addition, your vet will be able to check your pooch to ensure that he is ready to be neutered, particularly if you are unsure of his age and he is still a puppy. The vet may also need to do a blood test beforehand to ensure that your pet is in good health and able to have the procedure.
In general, you should avoid feeding your dog anything for at least eight hours prior to being neutered. This is due to the fact that he will have to be under anesthetic and food may cause issues. However, you can give him water to drink before he goes in for his neutering. Also, bear in mind that once your dog is back home after being neutered, he may be off his food for a short while as he may experience nausea from the anesthetic and procedure.
By a Boston Terrier lover Reno Charlton
Published: 02/19/2018, edited: 04/06/2020
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