From the best organic dog foods to neutering, there are some things you just have to do to make sure your puppy is living the best life possible. If you would like to know why exactly you should neuter your dog at some point, below you will find the answers.
What Is Neutering?
Neutering is a very simple surgical procedure that removes an animal’s reproductive organ (thus sterilizing it) so it won’t be able to reproduce anymore. This comes with a certain amount of benefits, aside from the fact that your dog won’t make puppies anymore, because neutering eliminates the risk of some diseases developing, conflicts with other dogs, etc.
This surgery is just as simple as the spaying option used for females. It all starts with the veterinarian putting your dog under anesthesia. Then the doctor makes an incision around the scrotum area and removes the testicles. In some cases, stitches may be needed.
Your pup will probably have to wear an Elizabethan collar around his neck for about two weeks so he won’t lick the sensitive area. Following this period of time, you can remove the collar and everything will go back to normal for everybody and you can be sure your doggy’s going to have a healthy life.
What Benefits Come with Neutering?
Obviously, the first benefit that comes with neutering is the fact that said dog won’t make any more puppies. This practice is common for both house pets and for stray dogs or those found in shelters as it helps keep the dog population under control. If your dog has already had puppies, the chances of you wanting another batch are pretty low.
Even if that is the best-known effect of neutering, there are plenty other reasons that should convince you to neuter your dog such as the fact that the chances of developing prostate diseases and testicular cancer drop a lot so you’ll guarantee him a longer and healthier life.
As there will be less testosterone in your puppy’s system, he will also be calmer, in general. A calmer puppy means you’ll be calmer too. He will also not feel the need to mark his territory (outside or inside) as he doesn’t really have a reason anymore to announce his presence in the area.
The low level of testosterone will also almost completely remove such behaviors like aggression, roaming, and humping or other behaviors that are related to asserting dominance. OK, humping won’t stop completely and he will still have an interest in females, but to a much lesser degree.
Also due to low testosterone, the chances of him getting into fights with other dogs (especially with other male dogs) will also be much slimmer which is another big benefit. If your dog is a bit older, if you’ll neuter him, there is another benefit: the size of an enlarged prostate will also be reduced.
Regardless of whether your dog is in his prime or a bit older, the benefits that come with neutering are plenty and they should give you enough reasons to proceed with this.
When Should You Neuter Your Dog?
Two months after being born you can already neuter your dog. Of course, it isn’t really recommended to start so early and even many veterinarians recommend waiting to at least six months until you should move on with the procedure. You can have a talk with your dog’s vet to see which applies best for your four-legged companion.
Generally speaking, a dog that was neutered before puberty tends to grow slightly larger than a dog neutered once puberty had settled in as testosterone plays a role in bone growth. This growth can be preferred by some owners, while some may not like it as much. Many dog breeds are already sexually mature when they are six months old so keep that in mind.
Even if the testicles of your dog haven’t descended yet, you can still have him neutered. This is because of a condition called cryptorchidism and those dogs that are affected by it have a higher chance of developing testicular tumors. As a result, it is highly recommended that these dogs should go under the knife.
If you wait too long to neuter your dog and he’s already a full-grown adult, some complications may appear following the surgery though it is worth noting that the vet can take care of these and, generally speaking, there are more benefits than risks. If you want to be sure, again, just have a chat with your dog’s vet.
How to Prepare for Surgery
The first thing that will happen is that the vet will do some pre-surgical blood work in order to check that your pup is healthy enough to undergo surgery and that he doesn’t present any other health conditions which could interfere with anesthesia. A young dog probably won’t present many risks, but a check-up is always a good idea.
The veterinarian will tell you exactly what and how, but among their indications, you will certainly find the recommendation for the pup not to eat eight hours before the surgery since the anesthetic can provoke nausea. Drinking water is usually ok, but you should still check before with your vet.
What Can Happen After Surgery
As mentioned, neutering is considered to be a very simple surgical experience. The veterinarian will surely tell you what to expect after surgery and the dog will be fine in no-time.
So, what are the things that usually happen after a neutering procedure?
The surgery is so simple that you may take your dog home the exact same day he had the procedure. For a day or two, the pup may not be too keen on eating and will experience some nausea because of the anesthetic. You don’t have to worry and force food on their throats, this is perfectly normal.
Also for a couple of days after the surgery has taken place, you’ll notice the scrotum is swollen. Most people have a tendency to wonder if anything has really happened or if the procedure was done properly. Again, no need to worry, it’s just how things go. Or have a look, in this case.
This swelling can become even more obvious if the pup is licking the incision – as he is most likely to do. For this, you will have to put an Elizabethan collar around his neck so he won’t be able to reach the area.
In case stitches were used, ask your vet when those should be removed. The general time period is of seven to ten days – it all depends on what type of material was used for the stitches. You will have to come back for the stitches to be removed or, if you’re lucky, the vet may use modern stitches that can fall by themselves after a couple of days.
After the procedure has taken place, the scrotum of the young dog will slowly start to flatten as he starts to grow. An adult dog will then have a flap of skin which is a result of the empty scrotum.
Even if your dog wants to get active right after the surgery or the next day, try to limit his activity for two or three days so you won’t risk opening the incision in their play. Also worth noting is that some mild bruising can appear in the area, but, again, you have nothing to worry about.
What Can Happen Post-Surgery?
You may have to talk to the vet if you notice there is a discharge coming from the incision or if you notice that the dog seems to be in pain. While this is rare, it can still happen and you’ll need to get the dog some medicine.
As we mentioned, keep an Elizabethan collar around their neck to prevent licking. In some cases, dogs can struggle a bit when it comes to walking with them but we’ll put this under “necessary evil”. Obviously, don’t remove the collar not even when they go to sleep as licking is a factor that prevents healing the incision.
The surgery will probably make your dog a bit calmer for a couple of days, but they’ll bounce right back as soon as possible. You only need to worry if a couple of days have passed and they’re still not their usual selves, they seem to be in pain, you notice a discharge from the incision, etc. Your vet will be happy to help you!