According to the Humane Society of the United States, more than 3 million cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters each year. These arent just sick dogs or those that accidentally ran out the door and got away, these are animals that family pets had with other local pets and caused an overpopulation issue for a family, causing them to give up the offspring. Because there aren't as many people willing to adopt animals as there are animals in shelters, most of them end up being euthanized.
The only 100% method to ensure over-population of unwanted animals is by having your pet spayed (female) or neutered (male). The procedure is safe and your pet will be under anesthesia during the operation and only be in the vet's office for a few hours.
Dogs can be spayed or neutered once they're at least two pounds and/or six months old. Spaying involves the removal of the female reproductive organs including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. Neutering refers to castration, meaning that both testicles are removed. Both surgeries prevent unwanted offspring and eliminate many of the behavioral problems associated with the mating instinct.
The advantages of neutering male dogs is that it makes them less likely to roam, mark their territories with urine, and get aggressive with other dogs. Spayed female dogs benefit by having fewer urinary tract infections and less chance of developing certain types of cancer. This article will address some of the objections people have for spaying or neutering their pets and the facts to overcome those objections.
The first objection usually relates to the cost of the procedure. It's a one-time cost that is certainly much smaller than the cost of raising more unexpected puppies and certainly worth the peace of mind knowing that those puppies aren't going to be put down. There is financial assistance for families with limited income and some local humane societies partner with veterinarians' offices to subsidize the costs of spaying and neutering services.
Some pet owners, especially men, have the concern that their male dog will feel like less of a male if he is neutered. The reality is that pets don't have any concept of sexual identity, so they won't have an identity crisis or nervous breakdown if they get snipped.
The next objection is that their dogs will get fat and lazy if altered. If your dog gets fat and lazy, it's going to be because you either fed it too much or you didn't exercise it enough, but it has nothing to do with being spayed or neutered.
Some people think that a dog will be less protective or less of a guard dog if it has undergone spaying or neutering. A dog's sex hormones isn't what makes it want to protect your family, it's their natural instinct and genetics.
Some parents will say that they want their family dog to have at least one litter because they want their children to experience the miracle of birth. More than likely, though, the puppies are going to be born in the middle of the night or not when the children are around to witness it. Additionally, there are plenty of educational materials and videos if parents want to introduce children to this concept.
Sometimes people will say that they want their dog to have puppies because they want another dog just like the adult dog. Have you ever heard somebody say that they had three children turn out completely differently from the other, there's no guarantee that the puppy that a dog has will turn out to be like its parent.
Of course there is the possibility of surgical complications or risk, just like there is with any surgery involving humans, but the number of incidents compared to the number of surgical procedures in dogs is very, very low.