There is only one absolute way to prevent your dog from becoming pregnant: make sure she is spayed. Spaying is the surgical removal of uterus and both ovaries. You may also hear it called being “fixed”, “altered”, or even “desexed”.
Spaying is considered a more serious surgery than the equivalent for male dogs.
Owning a male dog does not mean you are free from responsibility. If you don’t want your dog to CAUSE reproduction, you must have him neutered. Neutering a male dog is not considered a major surgery because it does not enter the abdominal cavity. However, it does require a general anesthetic.
In both males and females, the recovery time from neutering surgery is quick. Don’t be surprised to see your dog up and acting like normal within twenty-four hours of the surgery!
Other Health Benefits Of Spaying
Having your female dog spayed means you are giving her a better chance at a longer, healthier life.
Removing the uterus and ovaries completely eliminates the chance of uterine and ovarian cancers.
Removing the uterus completely eliminates the chance of dangerous uterine infection.
Spaying also reduces the chances of mammary cancer by as much as 97 percent.
Allowing your female dog to have a litter or experience a heat cycle WILL NOT make her a “better” pet. This is a myth. If you are not planning to breed your dog, you should have her spayed as soon as possible.
Neutering is healthy for your male dog, too. By having his testicles removed, you greatly reduce his risk of testicular, perianal, and prostate cancers.
A Word About Overpopulation
Pet overpopulation is a huge problem around the world. In the United States alone, more than sixteen thousand healthy but homeless dogs and cats are euthanized EVERY DAY. This adds up to six million pets or more every year.
Really, the only reason you should be breeding your dog is to improve the breed. Otherwise, you are just contributing to the overpopulation problem.
Bad reasons to let your dogs breed and/or bad reasons to NOT neuter your pets:
Because you want your children to see the “miracle of birth”. A video is cheaper.
Because you don’t want your dog’s personality to change. A pet may calm down and seem mellower after neutering, but their personality will not radically change.
Because you don’t want your dog to get fat. So take her for walks every day.
Because you don’t have the time. If you love your pet, you should make the time.
Because you don’t have the money. Many veterinarians and animal shelters provide assistance to owners who cannot afford the surgery.
Because you want to make money. Caring for a pregnant dog and the resulting puppies is VERY expensive! Most breeders are lucky to break even on a litter.
Because you don’t think your dog can get out and find a dog to mate with. Don’t kid yourself. A female dog emits a particular scent that carries. Male dogs will come find her. Or she may escape and find a nearby male.
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