15 January 2016

Should I Have My Male Dog Neutered { Castrated }?

Are there any health benefits to having a male dog neutered { Castrated } ? What are the pros and cons of having my male dog neutered castrated. Will having my male dog neutered change his behaviour of character?

male dog neutering castration
My own two un-neutered male dogs.

Vets like myself are often asked if male dogs should be neutered { Castrated } or not, and some vets will suggest this is best for all dogs come what may. But is this really the case? A paper I recently read has reinforced my views ....

With a female dog the answer is easy, spaying gives a sparing effect from breast cancer and womb disease, so a properly carried out spay operation is pretty well always in a female dog's best interest. However with male dogs my own opinion is that if the dog is well behaved in terms of aggression and being clean in the house, and if you do not have entire female dogs which will come into season in your house then there is little point in putting your dog through this procedure as the chances are it is not going to be of long term benefit to him health wise. In fact my own male dog house dog Teddy has not been neutered and and he is a perfect gentleman in all respects so I see no point in putting him through the procedure.

In terms of health benefits related to the procedure the above is not only my opinion, in her peer reviewed paper Laura J Sanborn says " On balance it appears that no compelling case can be made for neutering most male dogs to prevent future health problems " But read the full paper, it really is an excellent study on the topic. You can read it HERE

Of course the above applies to pet house dogs which are walked on leads and always under your control. If you have outside dogs who may sometimes have the chance to escape and wander then then that changes things a bit. In that case it could well be desirable to carry out neutering because wandering dogs can father more unwanted puppies, will be prone to catching more diseases and also may suffer traumatic injuries from road traffic accidents and the like. Neutered outside dogs are far less likely to wander than those left entire.

Finally some people think that having a male dog neutered will somehow change his temperament and make him a better pet dog. This is just not the case, in my experience most dog's characters remain just the same whether they are neutered or not.