Debunking the Myths about Spaying & Neutering

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For many dog parents, making the decision to spay or neuter is a tough one. Recent studies have shown that the health of your pet is not always improved by altering your dog.  Nevertheless, with the overpopulation of pets sitting in shelters, these procedures generally result in fewer pets being euthanized due to lack of a home.

Overpopulation of dogs is a problem that is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.

This article is not meant to convince you one way or the other, but is simply meant to debunk the common myths associated with spaying and neutering, allowing you to make an informed decision, using facts instead of myths.

Myth #1: A sterile dog will just get fat and lazy.

Fact: The only sure way for your pooch to get fat and lazy is if you feed him too much and don’t provide him with adequate exercise.

Myth #2: Before getting your dog spayed, let her have one litter first.

Fact: Medical evidence reveals that a dog which is spayed prior to her first heat cycles is usually healthier as compared to those of which were spayed following the cycle or after having a litter.

Myth #3: You should leave a purebred dog intact.

Fact: On average, about 1 out of every 4 dogs given in to animal shelters all over the country is purebred. There are just too many pooches bred, both mixed and purebred.

Myth #4: My dog will no longer be as protective once I neuter him.

Fact: It’s a dog’s natural instinct to watch over his home and family. This predisposition is not affected by spaying or neutering since a pooch’s personality owes more to their genes and upbringing than sex hormones.

Myth #5: Neutering will make Fido feel like less of a male.

Fact: Unlike humans, dogs don’t have ego or a concept of sexual identity. Neutering will not change your dog’s basic personality.

Myth #6: My pooch is just so special so I want a pup exactly just like him.

Fact: Experts reveal that there is no guarantee for one to get a particular canine characteristic from a litter. As a matter of fact, the entire litter of pups you have might actually end up inheriting only the worst characteristics of your dog and his mate.

Myth #7: The procedures are just too costly.

Fact: The rate of spaying or neutering is generally based on the size, age, and sex of your pooch, along with your vet’s fees and some other variables. Nevertheless, the surgery is a one-time expenditure, and once you factor in the countless benefits you get from spaying or neutering, the procedure is relatively cheap.

Additionally, many free or low-cost spay/neuter programs are available throughout the nation. Ask your veterinarian or local animal control organization for information.

Myth #8: I have a nice home to offer for all of my new pups.

Fact: This may be true for you, but remember that for every household you find, there is always one less home free for a shelter dog.

For more information, including myths and misconceptions about spaying or neutering you pets, visit The Humane Society of the United States by clicking here.

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When I adopted my shepherd mix, Molly, from a local shelter 12 years ago, I had no idea the impact she would have on my life. Through Molly, I've learned to be more patient, experienced unconditional love, been alerted to the mailman and every squirrel within a block radius of the house, and ingested enough fur to build 3 or 4 more dogs! When I lost Molly to cancer just a few months ago, I adopted Olive, a 13 week old Golden Retriever. Together, we smile at least a hundred times a day!