If you have a male dog, you’ve probably already heard of why you should neuter him. In fact, many people are looked down upon when they choose not to neuter their dogs. The situation seems so cut and dry that you shouldn’t question the choice.
The reality is not that simple, however. Neutering your dog is often a good decision, but there are some reasons that might make you reconsider. In the interest of objectivity, let’s take a look at some of the reasons that you should get your dog neutered and some of the reasons that you shouldn’t. Hopefully, at the end of the article, you will have enough information to make an informed decision.
Pro: Less Aggression
Neutering you dog will reduce their testosterone levels, and testosterone is known to increase aggression. This will make you dog easier to deal with, and it’s especially important if you have children at home. Also, if your dog ever attacks someone else, it can cause you a lot of trouble and cost you a lot of money.
Pro: Less Territory Marking
Marking territory is another behavior that dogs engage in due to their testosterone levels. When their testosterone levels are high, they feel the need to be territorial. When you take them on walks, they will drag you all over the place trying to mark areas as theirs. While neutering isn’t a surefire way to end this behavior, it does decrease the likelihood and severity.
Pros: Reduce Risk of Prostate Disorders
The large majority of dogs that were never neutered suffer from prostate issues – including an enlarged prostate. This makes it hard for them to “go potty,” which is extremely uncomfortable for them to deal with. There is also the risk of prostate infections and cysts.
Neutering your dog greatly increases their risk of becoming obese. Once again, this can be attributed to low testosterone levels. As is the case with humans, symptoms of low testosterone include the inability to build muscle mass. Another symptom of low testosterone for both humans and dogs is weight gain. Muscle mass plays a huge role in the burning of calories. If the dog has less muscle, he will be burning fewer calories and those extra calories will turn into fat.
Just because neutering a dog is common practice does not mean that it isn’t an invasive surgery. Keep in mind, your dog will have to receive anesthesia for the veterinarians to perform this surgery. This is an inherently risky proposition, and it makes it worth reconsidering.
This one isn’t a major issue if you’ve given your pet time to properly develop, but since many people encourage neutering dogs as young as possible, it seemed worthy of inclusion. Neutering you dog prevents them from secreting hormones that are necessary for their development. If this process occurs too soon, it will have a negative effect on their joints and bones.
Think it Through
Regardless of what other people tell you, there is no right or wrong when it comes to neutering. It will have both positive and negative effects on your pet. You owe it to them to consider the procedure from all angles before making a decision.
On the positive side, neutering means less aggression, less territory marking and a reduced risk of prostate disorders. On the other hand, neutering can lead to obesity, is an invasive surgery and can hinder your dog’s development. Whichever way you decide to act, make sure you take the animal’s best interests to heart.
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Steven Sorrick has been a passionate dog lover for years. He is bothered by the assumption people must neuter their male pets. He tries hard to educate people about both sides of the story.