Last modified on November 23rd, 2020 at 7:53 am

The Pros and Cons of Spaying a Dog

Congratulations on your new furry friend. Now it’s time to weigh up the pros and cons of spaying a dog, and whether or not it’s the right choice for you.

you have a female dog? Have you wondered, “should I spay my dog?” Many people
have different opinions.

reading this article to learn about the pros and cons of spaying a dog. This
can help guide you in your decision-making process.

The Spaying Procedure Explained

term, spaying, refers to the removal of the
reproductive organs
in a female dog. These organs
include the ovaries and uterus. The medical term is an ovariohysterectomy.

describes one of two approaches to achieving infertility. In some countries, a
veterinarian removes the ovaries and leave the uterus. This is known as an
ovariectomy. Experts continue to debate which procedure has greater benefits.

surgery takes place with general anesthesia, so the dog doesn’t feel any pain.
Post-surgical care first involves the recovery from anesthesia. This can take
up to 24 hours and may mean she exhibits some abnormal behavior.

may experience sleepiness and unsteadiness when walking. Assist her by walking
slowly on a leash when outside. Provide help when getting in and out of the car
and onto her bed.

young children and other animals away from her to avoid injury. Watch her for
any signs of problems associated with the anesthesia.

sure she’s warm and comfortable and can get water when she needs it. Offer her
meals as usual, but don’t worry if she doesn’t eat much at first. Your
veterinarian may also give you some medication to keep her calm for the first
few days.

of the most important things you need to do is protect the wound. Make sure
that she doesn’t lick her incision. If the doctor gave you a collar, make sure
she wears it.

the wound clean and dry. Do not bathe her until her sutures or staples are
removed or dissolved. Watch for redness, swelling, pus, or a bad smell which
could mean an infection.

Pros and Cons of Spaying a Dog

are many reasons why owners choose to spay their dog or not spay her. Following
is a summary of the pros and cons of spaying.

Reasons to Spay Your dog

of spaying site euthanization of millions of unwanted dogs. Responsible owners not wishing to breed their dog should
have them spayed.

can also decrease some behavioral problems. These issues can result from mating
instincts. Removing the ovaries stops the heat cycle which helps with these
behavior issues.

your dog spayed won’t impact their intelligence or their ability to play,
learn, or hunt. A spayed dog may even have a more pleasant demeanor. Spaying
also protects your dog from serious health problems.

Decreased Risk of Infection and Cancer

the female dog is spayed at an early age, she can have a decreased chance of
serious illness later in life. The problems may include infections in the
uterus and breast cancer.

Risk of Pyometra in Unspayed Dogs

condition called pyometra in dogs
refers to a bacterial infection that develops in the uterus. The lining of the
uterus thickens. Bacteria enter the uterine walls and generate pus.

bacteria move into the abdomen and bloodstream. This can cause the dog to
develop shock. If she isn’t treated fast enough, she can die.

infection occurs rapidly. It’s most commonly seen in older dogs who did not
have their uterus removed.

each heat cycle, the uterus prepares for pregnancy by increasing the wall
thickness. After several cycles without a pregnancy, the following events may

  • Fluid-filled sacs, called
    cysts, form in the uterine wall creating a rich environment for bacterial
  • Bacteria move from the vagina
    into the uterus
  • The thickened walls decrease
    the muscle’s ability to push out fluids and bacteria

blood cells can’t enter the uterus during the heat cycle. Thus, they can’t
fight any bacteria that may be present. This increases the risk of infection.

The Nuisance of the Heat Cycle

heat cycle is often messy and embarrassing. Her genitals swell and she has a
bloody discharge. Dogs often lick their genitals an excessive amount during
this time.

must keep her confined to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Males can smell her heat
for miles. Thus, you must not leave her unattended in the yard and you may not
wish to walk her.

dog’s heat may also interrupt your vacation or other social plans. You won’t
want to leave your dog with a friend while she’s in heat. Leaving her at a pet
sitter or kennel puts her at risk for pregnancy.

Reasons to Not Spay Your Dog

you wish to breed your dog, then you will want to wait before deciding to spay
her. If you choose to spay her when she’s considered old, it’s safer to do the

dogs may have problems with weight gain and urinary incontinence. This means
that she has trouble holding her urine.

have a higher risk of post-surgical bleeding when their uterus is removed. This
complication rarely occurs. This supports the argument for only removing the

removal of the ovaries, the uterus begins to atrophy or shrink. Over time, she
will effectively not have a uterus. This eliminates the risk of pyometra and
uterine tumors.

important to note that ovariectomies are only recommended for young dogs who
have a healthy uterus.

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