By making sure that your dog can’t have puppies, you’ll have peace of mind that his or her offspring won’t be euthanized in an animal shelter.
Many people are surprised to learn that nationwide, more than 3 million animals are euthanized in shelters. You might think that these are animals born in the streets or there is something “wrong” with them. But more often they are the offspring of cherished family pets, even purebreds. Maybe someone’s dog got out just that one time or maybe the litter was intentional, but efforts to find enough good homes failed.
Still, the result is homeless animals that have to be euthanized because there are more dogs entering shelters than there are people willing to provide them with loving care. Even if you do find homes for your dog’s puppies, that means there are fewer homes available to take in other pets from shelters. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs.
Homeless animals may get into trash containers, defecate in the neighborhood and bite or attack. Spaying or neutering your dog means that your animal and its potential offspring won’t contribute to the population of unwanted pets.
You can also enjoy your spayed or neutered pet more. Female dogs that have been spayed do not go into heat. You won’t have the mess that comes with the female reproductive cycle or the boisterous, noisy male suitors. Spaying and neutering may also reduce the risk of certain health problems, offering you more years with your beloved dog.
Licensed veterinarians perform the spay or neuter operation while the pet is under anesthesia. Depending on your dog’s age, size and health, he or she will stay at your veterinarian’s office for a few hours or a few days. Depending on the procedure, your dog may need stitches removed. Your veterinarian can fully explain spay and neuter procedures to you. If you have a new puppy, don’t wait! Pets can become parents sooner than you think. Early age spay/neuter is safe and effective, so talk with your veterinarian at your dog’s first visit.
Spay or neuter surgery carries a one-time cost that is relatively small when you consider the benefits. It’s a small price to pay to make sure your dog’s offspring aren’t euthanized. For dogs living in homes with limited income, reduced-cost procedures may be available. Humane societies work with veterinarians to offer subsidized and affordable spay-and-neuter services in veterinarians’ offices, specialized clinics and even in customized mobile units that bring safe, effective spaying and neutering to specific neighborhoods.