Spaying and Neutering

The case for sterilization is a strong one. So strong, in fact, that I cannot thik of a good excuse for not sterilizing a dog that is not going to be bred for conformation, or herding.

There are many nasty rumors that are floating around. I have heard of vets telling clients that dog must be bred or it will die. That it’s healthier if it is bred. That is will make a better pet. This could not be further from the truth.

It is up to breeders who consider themselves reputable to check themselves if a dog in their line begins to exhibit unbreedable qualities. Yes, there are ‘reputable breeders’ out there who are helping ruin our breed, but the main fault lies with the uneducated breeder.

Why isn’t your dog sterilized yet?

But Kristin, my dog will get fat and lazy.

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True, your dog may get fatter, but not because of his or her missing bits. Itmay diminish your dog’s overall activity level, natural tendency to wander, and hormonal balances, which may influence appetite. Aussies that become fat and lazy after being altered usually are overfed and do not get enough exercise.

We want another dog just like our incredibly smart/cute/valiant Aussie.

Breeding two purebred animals never results in offspring that are exactly like one of the parents. Mixed breeds can also produce unpredictable results. And, hey, guess what, all Aussies are as smart/cute/valiant as yours. Why not go to a breeder where you know you’ll get a well cared-for animal that will enhance your lives and be guaranteed agianst any debilitating congenital diseases.

My pet’s personality will change.

Any change will be for the better. After being altered, your pet will be less aggressive toward other dogs, be more adaptable, less high-strung, and will be less likely to wander. Urine marking, which is often done by dogs to mark their territory, diminishes after your dog is altered. Your dog will not suddenly act different. Its not a lobotomy! 🙂

We can sell puppies and make money.

Even well-known breeders are fortunate if they break even on raising purebred litters. The cost of raising such a litter — which includes stud fees, vaccinations and other health care costs, and feeding a quality food — consumes most of the “profit.” Well-known breeders raise breeds that they like. These breeders also try to improve the standard of the breeds they raise.

My children should witness our pet giving birth.

Dogs often have their litters in the middle of the night or in a place of their own choosing. Because pets need privacy when giving birth, any unnecessary intrusion can cause the mother to become seriously upset. These intrusions can result in an unwillingness to care for the offspring or in injury to the owners or to the pet. Also, many puppies born with an inexperieinced midwife (you) will die. Birth is also not a very clean process, and there is a good likelihood that your pet produce something ill or possibly die. What kind of education for your child is that?

I am concerned about my pet undergoing anesthesia.

Placing a pet under anesthesia is a very common concern of owners. I totally understand. I lost my first Aussie under anestheia undergoing a hip x-ray and dental exam. Although there is always a slight risk involved, the anesthetics currently used by veterinarians are very safe. Many veterinarians use equipment that monitors heart and respiratory rates during surgery to ensure that their patients are doing well under anesthesia. Thus, the medical benefits (less risk of cancer, fights, etc)of having your pet spayed or neutered far outweigh the slight risk involved with undergoing anesthesia. Consult your veterinarian if your are concerned about this aspect of the procedure.

Above information adapted from “Should You Spay/Neuter Your Pet?” by Alpo Pet foods.

Five Good Reasons Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet

1) Spaying or neutering increases your pet’s chances for a longer, healthier life.

  • Spaying your pet before her first estrous cycle (that is, before she reaches sexual maturity) greatly reduces her chances of developing breast cancer and completely eliminates the threat of uterine and ovarian cancer and uterine infection, which are common occurrences in unaltered females.
  • Neutering your male dog prevents testicular tumors and may prevent prostate problems. Neutering also decreases the possibility of perianal tumors and hernias, which are commonly observed in older, unaltered dogs.

    2) An altered dog is a better pet for your family.

  • Males neutered early in life are less aggressive toward other males and are not distracted by females in heat. Therefore, a neutered male will be less tempted to leave your property and cross that dangerous highway searching for a mate. Neutered males also are less likely to mark every one of your (or your neighbor’s) expensive shrubs with his urine as well as inside the house.
  • Spaying your female pet eliminates the problem of stray males camping in your yard and decreases her desire to roam and breed.

    3) No family wants to cope with an unwanted pregnancy.

  • Spaying prevents your pet from giving birth to unwanted puppies 4) Spaying results in a cleaner female dog and home.
  • Because female dogs pass bloody fluid for about ten days, twice a year, as a part of their estrous cycle, constant care must be taken to avoid carpet stains in homes with such animals. Spaying your dog eliminates this problem.

    5) You are helping to alleviate the dog overpopulation problem.

  • Each year, millions of unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized (killed) at shelters across the country. Although pet behavioral problems are the main reasons animals are given to shelters, many orphans are the result of accidental breeding by free-roaming, unaltered pets. The more pets spayed or neutered, the fewer dogs and cats will have to be destroyed.

    Above information adapted from “Should You Spay/Neuter Your Pet?” by Alpo Pet foods.