It’s common knowledge that neutering comes with medical and behavioural benefits. Male dogs tend to be friendlier and mellower after neutering, and neutering female dogs helps keep Britain’s dog population under control.
The usual timescale for neutering falls at around six to nine months, although you can neuter puppies as young as eight weeks provided they’re healthy. You can also neuter your pooch as an adult animal, but there’s a slightly enhanced risk of post-op complications in older dogs, especially if they’re a bit fatter than they should be. As a general rule it’s best to get it done when your dog is six to nine months old. If in doubt, your vet will advise you about the best time.
The benefits of neutering
Neutering helps prevent testicular cancer, a common and life-threatening disease in older male dogs, and also reduces the chances of prostate issues because the procedure prevents prostate enlargement and infection.
Post-neutering, you should see a reduction in your male dog’s urine marking, since they’re less concerned with being territorial. It should mean they don’t run away from home in search of females on heat. Neutered dogs usually live longer too, probably because they roam less, are safe from traffic and less likely to get lost.
Neutering isn’t a quick fix for all unwanted behaviours, although it can reduce them. The effects depend on your dog’s unique personality, physiology and history. Some studies indicate neutering reduces aggression towards other male dogs, with less testosterone in your pet’s system. But other research has shown no difference in aggression. It appears to depend on the dog. Like humans, every pooch is different.
Neutering also means other male dogs will pay your male dog less attention because he gives off less testosterone, and your female pooch won’t be bothered as much by randy, un-neutered males! Last but not least your dog should end up less likely to mount other dogs as part of their sexual behaviour, too, although they might still do it because it’s fun, just for a doggie laugh!
Can neutering be a bad thing?
There are a few potential side effects. Some male neutered dogs get confused and try to mount un-neutered males. Some grow taller than they would if left un-neutered, especially when the operation is carried out before they have stopped growing. There’s a tiny extra risk of osteosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma, both cancers, especially when your pet’s breed is naturally susceptible. If you neuter your doggie too young they may be more likely to develop hip dysplasia, and neutered dogs also have a small increased risk of hypothyroidism. Some dogs get fat after being neutered, especially when it’s done too young. But the benefits far outweigh the downsides.
Making recovery from neutering as comfortable as possible
Imagine you’re a dog. The last thing you need is to have to wear a nasty white plastic cone around your neck while your nether regions heal. Cones are uncomfortable, restrictive and downright embarrassing for any self-respecting doggie. Luckily there’s another way.
Our suit is the perfect alternative to a cone in a post-op situation, especially good for just-neutered pooches of either sex. During the days following surgery or other veterinary treatment, it will reduce your pet’s distress so they can heal faster, be happier and more comfortable during the healing process.