To Neuter or Not to Neuter
is the Question!
people are still under the misguided impression that it is in the best interest of your
beloved pet to let them "have one litter" before they are neutered.
This is a fallacy that has persisted for many
It is one which has yet to be
proven to be in the best interest of anyone,
especially the pet...
As a young adult I worked for the Pierce
County Humane Society. During this time I had the
opportunity to visit homes all over the Pierce County area,
contacting owners to verify the number of animals they owned
and whether they were properly licensed.
The pet owners were given a discount
for pets which had been neutered when they were asked to
purchase their pet's license. This discount was
established to give the owners incentive to have their pets
neutered, in an ongoing effort to keep their pets from
contributing to the unwanted reproduction of their species
at random (or due to their owner's misguided intentions..)
this time I had the opportunity to see and observe the living situations of
many pet animals who had
been neutered. I was
appalled at how some poor animals had been forced to live
through the misguided actions (and/or neglect) of their
owners... Many of these owners simply took their chances and
hoped their dogs or cats didn't get "into trouble". In
almost all of these cases, they were very unlucky with this
method of birth control, their many pets continuing to
produce more offspring with each heat.
contributed horribly to the rise of the number of unwanted
animals being produced.
I saw first hand the number of
puppies, kittens, and adults of these same species who had
to be sent to the Humane Society to be cared for, hoping to
be able to find a caring owner who would take them and give
them a good loving home. Or worse...animals who were
needlessly euthanised, simply because their parents had not
been neutered and had come into heat without the owners
paying attention to the fact that...
yes...a 6 month old
puppy or kitten
in fact does become pregnant on
their first heat!!!
A responsible pet owner should be aware, and observant, of
changes in their animals at all times,
so as to not
let his occur...
on the best age for neutering your
also worked for several Veterinarians over the course of my
years, I helped care for the animals at the hospitals in the
kennel recovery area there and also assisted the
Veterinarians during Surgery. Here I witnessed
emergency C-sections on dogs who had been impregnated by
animals much larger than themselves, causing the mothers to
be unable to deliver these babies themselves normally. Many
times these puppies were euthanised at the owners request
simply because they had no intention of caring for them or
of taking the time to find them homes...~~
during this time,
I assisted with animals who's caring
their pets in
as young adults to be spayed or neutered at the appropriate age.
Knowing how easily unwanted pregnancy
is prevented simply by having your pet
neutered, I understand the importance of educating people
about the "unnecessary reproduction at random" of unwanted
I firmly believe that domesticated animals should
be left to their own decisions.
They are guided by nature and cannot make
the best decision for themselves, so
falls on the shoulders of their responsible owners, to do what
is best for them.
Only those quality animals selected by responsible breeders with
the goal being to
reproduce quality progeny; animals who themselves are worthy
and capable specimens
of improving upon their respective breeds; or those whose
are striving to achieve their
working titles which may require these animals remain
un-neutered, need remain intact.
In addition, as relates to cancer there is a study of 3218 dogs
that showed that dogs that were neutered
before a year of age had a
significantly increased chance of developing bone cancer
Beranek BC, Schlittler DL, Glickman NW, Glickman LT, Waters D, Cancer
Prev. 2002 Nov;11(11):1434-40) a cancer that is
much more life-threatening than mammary cancer,
which affects both
Finally, in another study, unneutered males were significantly
less likely than neutered males
to suffer cognitive impairment when they
were older (Hart BL. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2001 Jul 1;219(1):51-6).
Females were not evaluated in that study.
Studies have also indicated that it is the sex hormones which are
by the young growing animals
to close the growth plates of
Early neutering which removes the production of these
sex hormones can affect the normal time frame
that this should occur in
your dog, leading to possible future hip and arthritic problems later in
Read more about these findings on
HD and the Role Sex Hormones Play
It is my opinion that you, as a responsible dog owner, must protect your animals
truly sheds new light on the most beneficial age for dogs
to be neutered.
from having or producing unplanned and unwanted pregnancies...
It is the duty of the owner to do so for the safety and well being of
Don't simply take your vet's advice blindly...
find out answers to your questions, and then
make the best decision for your dog.
trust in you to do this for them.
On the FLIP SIDE
That being said...
is new evidence of adverse effects occurring from neutering your
It may not be what is in the best interest of every single
Each situation should be visited with a fresh mind, for each
and every animal's situation as it applies.
Certainly age at which neutering is performed should be of paramount consideration. .
While I have great concern for intact animals being under the supervision of owners who are not
there are those owners who are truly concerned and
diligent about protecting their animals;
owners who have the welfare and future health of their
animals foremost in their minds.
For such owners, it is possible to have and maintain an intact animal who is supervised in such a manner
as to prevent there ever being an unwanted mating.
For those diligent, responsible and concerned owners who do not want to neuter,
here is an excellent study
about the merits of keeping your animal intact.
Quality Working German Shepherd Dogs
Roy, WA. US