Should You Neuter Your Dog?

Would you like your male dog to live longer? Neutering your dog can reduce the incidence of certain health problems.

If you have a male dog and don’t plan on breeding him it may be advantageous to have him neutered. How does neutering your male dog affect him and what are the advantages of neutering your dog?

Neutering your dog involves removing both of your dog’s testicles. When the testicles are removed, your dog is no longer capable of producing sperm or the male hormone, testosterone. The surgery is generally well tolerated by your dog and recovery time is often hours instead of days. The cost is usually fairly reasonable. If cost is a problem, there are a variety of spay and neutering clinics that can provide this service at a discounted price.

Many people have their dog neutered because they realize they will never breed him and want to cut down on the incidence of pet overpopulation. Other pet owners neuter their dog in an attempt to cut down on territorial aggression. Neutering can be effective in reducing aggressive behavior if it’s done early in life, usually before the age of two years. After this time, your dog may have learned aggressive behavior which may be difficult to eliminate simply through neutering. Most dog owners who neuter their dogs report some reduction in hyperactivity, although it’s a myth that neutering significantly changes your dog’s basic personality.

Neutering your dog can give him certain health benefits and protection against chronic disease. When you neuter your dog, he may have a reduced risk of:

Prostate enlargement

By removing the source of testosterone production, you significantly reduce the incidence of prostate enlargement which can cause problems with urine flow in a dog.

Tumors of the testicles

Neutering your dog also significantly reduce the risk of tumors of the testicles which are surprisingly common in dogs who haven’t been neutered.

Tumors of the anus

Anal tumors which can be quite painful to your dog are reduced by neutering.

Prostate cancer

The incidence of prostate cancer is also significantly reduced in your dog when you have him neutered.

There’s also evidence that dogs that are neutered before the age of two years tend to have a longer life span.

When should you have your dog neutered? Neutering can be performed any time after a dog is six months of age. It’s best to have this procedure done as soon after this time as possible if you want him to experience the benefits of reduced aggression and better socialization.

If you have an older dog, is there any point in neutering him? Neutering your older dog can not only reduce the incidence of pet overpopulation, but may also reduce the incidence of the diseases previously discussed, depending on how old your dog is when the surgery is performed. If your dog is older, you may want to ask him if he believes your dog would still benefit from the neutering procedure.

All in all, neutering can benefit your dog from a health standpoint and may help to reduce the incidence of stray and unwanted dogs that’s such a problem in this country.

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  1. sammie

    On October 23, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    “Tumors of the testicles”
    “Neutering your dog also significantly reduce the risk of tumors of the testicles which are surprisingly common in dogs who haven’t been neutered.”

    i would re-read this to yourself a few times, and see if it sinks in that having no balls, leaves no risk whatsoever from getting Tumors in them, not “significantly reduces” none whatsoever.

    second to last paragraph last sentence:
    “If your dog is older, you may want to ask him if he believes your dog would still benefit from the neutering procedure.”

    are you saying if my dog is older, i should ask him if he minds me having his ball cut off? i guess i need to learn dog talk to know if he minds or not huh?

  2. tazzy

    On February 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Sammie, if YOU re-read the 1st comment, they are saying that if you DON’T neuter your dog, he runs a likely risk of getting tumors, try comparing it to human breast cancer, removing them even before cancer is present can reduce the risk of getting cancer which, BTW, can spread to other parts of the body.

    And the second comment: asking HIM is referring to your vet, and I would have preferred they said asking him/her, to avoid sexist comments.

  3. Keila

    On June 9, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Tazzy Sammie was basically making fun of the poor writing skills of the author. My guess is that Sammie knew what the article attempted to say and that your lack of sense of humor goes along with Leong’s lack of language skills.

  4. cicero

    On August 4, 2008 at 10:17 am

    This issue is sharply divided along male/female lines. What exactly are the incidences of prostate/testicle cancer in dogs? 1 pct., I’d roll the dice with the cojones; 20%, chop them off. By the same logic, all human women should get radical mastectomies — just in case. What neither my wife nor my female vet will acknowledge is that the primary attraction of neutering is the suppression of idiotic male dog behavior — peeing, territorialism, humping, etc., — that we, as males, are sentimentally sympathetic to. It’s irresponsible to base the medical justification on cancer prevention without citing the probabilities. And until anyone successfully enforces a paternity suit on a dog, it’s the owners of female dogs that should be more concerned about birth control, for pragmatic reasons.

  5. Gurgle

    On August 7, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    You’d be much better off to read articles on research done by Veterinarians than by an MD, who, by the way, does not even give any references whatsoever as to where the information was obtained. Try these two: http://www.naiaonline.org/pdfs/LongTermHealthEffectsOfSpayNeuterInDogs.pdf

    and http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/pdf/10.2460/javma.231.11.1665

  6. Gurgle

    On August 7, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    My links don’t seem to be clickable so you will have to search for them yourself. For the first, try Laura Sanborn as author and “Long term risks benefits of spay/neuter” for your words. Yes, you will see there are significant risks.

    For the second try Margaret Kustritz as author and “deteriming optimal age gonadectomy dogs and cats” for your words.

  7. azuritemor

    On August 26, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Thats a great link. its the truth about S/n, not the myths that we hear all the time from vets and shelters. i quit s/n years ago after reading the vet texts . The early s/n s on larger breeds can really be a poor choice. Bear in mind however, that an intact dog is a larger responsibility

  8. Gurgle

    On October 14, 2008 at 11:22 am

    REally exercise caution when reading the information above. Some of it is absolutely WRONG. For one, the risk of prostate cancer quadruples in a neutered dog. And prostate cancer is much more serious and harder to treat than testicular cancer. Read those other suggested websites and educate yourself better than this author has done.

  9. Bearmon

    On December 15, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    I don’t agreed with what I read. It is people’s responsible reason why people ruin dogs life. I respect ANIMAL KINGDOM and their RIGHTS. You people need to pay attention and learn something from animals!!!!

    I dont like them to remove Dog’s testicles. It is wrong and dogs cannot say no beacuse they cannot speaks but you took dog’s testicles away without their rights. To me, it is very wrong. I have a dog and he still has testicles and he do not aggressive and he dont aggressive when I touch his food or anybody touch his food. He is SUPER FRIENDLY and he is very happy 12 years healthy dog and stronger. I always give him organic natural dog foods and plenty of calicum treats for his bone. He is happy healthy.

    I want you guys to stop remove dog’s testicles without their rights. You are steal their testicles and their body lost one of the important apart of their lives. If you dont want them to breed then keep them inside and walk with dog outside with leash and everything will be fine. I dont understand you people for remove dog’s testicles and didnt think about their rights. They cannot speak, for god sake!

  10. Elizabeth

    On July 30, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I agree 100% with Bearmon. If your dog have a medical condition that requires such a procedure then you do it for the sake of the dog — but just because of prevention or pet population control? Give me a break. If we think like this we do not talk to anyone, we do not go anywhere, we do not eat in restaurants, and so on. It doesn’t make sense to stop living in order to avoid dying. And since dogs cannot speak for themselves I think it is unfair to impose that to them. Of course it is more work for the owners to keep their dogs in control, than it is take the dogs to be castrated. Be more responsible and the dogs and everything else will be fine.

  11. maria zuniga

    On September 25, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I have to neuter my husky just because the law on Illinois say so and he is 9 years old and they give me 30 days to do that why ? is a lot of dogs outside and nobody pay attention to them my 2 dogs are pure breed they” no bad no agresive , the only thing is they like to run and exercise a lot a send to sleep .

  12. Vet Student

    On October 28, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Actually, neutering your dog increases the risk of prostate cancer by 4 times and increases the risk of bladder cancer by 8 times! Read the research!

  13. Dog Lover

    On August 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    My husband and I have owned numerous small dogs for over 30 years. Our experience has been that early spay and neuter causes more health problems for the dogs. We now alter our dogs when they are just over 2 years of age. It’s eliminated bone overgrowth (dog grows much longer legs and is bigger than breed standards), stopped excitement urination by the females, stopped incontinence for both males and females, and none of our dogs who have been fixed at that age developed cancer.

    We used to alter them between 6 to 12 months of age. We had 1 male develop prostate cancer, 2 males get much longer legs than their littermates who were owned by another couple, had several females with excitement pee, and had 3 dogs who developed incontinence. We’ve also not had a problem in potty training our dogs before they’ve been altered.

    Hormones are needed for more than reproduction. We’re thrilled with the outcome we’ve gotten and will never again do early spay and neuter before age 2 years. Read what holistic vets say about this, too. They are more into doing that’s best and healthiest for pets than conventional vets. From what we’ve read, it looks like waiting on altering pets is best for them. Do what you believe is best and don’t worry about what anyone else says. You’re responsible for your pet and it deserves the best health possible.

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