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Hello guys,

So I know this topic can get heated, but I will ask the members of this community their thoughts on this as I'm wondering what I'll do with my next dog.
I am not sure whether, when I get my next dog, if I will want to keep it intact for life, fix the dog later in life, or fix the dog as most people do.

So my question is this:
What are you thoughts and/or personal experiences with fixing a dog early, later, or never? Which option do you feel is the best for the dog?

~Thank you in advance for any and all information you can give me! It's greatly appreciated!:D
 

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Ayla,
In order to give you info that will be helpful, a starting point would be good. I'm sure you have done some research. What did you find, what are your feelings, and do you have any specific questions?
 

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Over my lifetime, I have had dogs unfixed their whole lives, and I've had dogs who have been fixed their whole lives. None, not one had problems either way. So my opinion, is its up to you whether you fix or not. I have yet to ever see any problems at all.
 

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My best recommendation based on research and personal experience is this.

If you can keep a male dog contained and not let it wander and get females pregnant then whether or not you get him neutered is personal preference. Their are health benefits to fixing them, but just as many if not more for keeping them intact. If you do decide to neuter I recommend putting it off till the dog is at least a year to two years old, that way you get the benefit of them having their reproductive hormones as they develop. You can also opt to have a vasectomy done on the dog, the dog gets to keep it's hormones, but cannot reproduce.

Females are a bit more complicated. If you keep one intact then have an emergency fund set up just in case she develops mammary cancer or pyometria. Spaying a female will always eliminate the risk pyometria, but whether or not it eliminates mammary cancer depends on how many heats a dog has, with each heat the benefit of preventing mammary cancer goes down till there is no more benefit. Due to mammary cancer I generally recommend spaying a dog at around 6 months old, before the first heat, or at the most letting her have 1 or 2 heats then spaying. There is ovary sparing spays where the ovaries are left to produce hormones, BUT the risk of hormone driven mammary cancer is still there.

Age To Spay Or Neuter, Ovary Sparing Spay, Vasectomy, Cancer Links - Dogs Naturally Magazine
 
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