What Does It Mean To Neuter A Dog?
Here's why it's so important.
Getting your dog neutered is one of the most important things you can do for him, but it’s totally normal to have a ton of questions about the procedure.
Here you’ll learn what a dog neuter is, what the recovery process will look like for your pup and why you should book your appointment to get it done (if you haven’t already).
What is a dog neuter?
In short, neutering is a surgical procedure done to male dogs to prevent unwanted pregnancies in female dogs.
During a neuter — or castration — a dog's testicles are removed to eliminate the ability to get a female pregnant.
“Neutering dogs has many benefits for the individual pet, as well as society as a whole,” Dr. Meghan Carlton, a veterinarian at DoveLewis in New York City, told The Dodo.
What are the health benefits?
Neutering can have big benefits for your dog’s health, and can literally save his life. It virtually eliminates the risk of testicular cancers, and it reduces the risk of some prostatic diseases (diseases that affect the prostate). Neutering your dog before 6 months of age also decreases the risk of breast cancer (yes, male dogs can get breast cancer)!
Neutering also significantly reduces hormonally driven behaviors like aggression and roaming tendencies. This makes it less likely that your dog will get hurt by fighting another dog, or will show aggression toward a person, and reduces the chances he’ll get lost or hurt by escaping to find a female dog in heat.
It’s good for all dogs — not just yours.
There’s a significant overpopulation of dogs, which means many of them end up homeless on the streets or in overcrowded shelters. By doing your part to prevent pregnancies, you’ll ensure there are more homes available for dogs who already need them.
What’s the recovery like?
Most dogs recover pretty quickly after their neuter — you’ll just want to make sure you follow some basic rules.
The most important thing is to keep him rested and away from his incision for about two weeks, and many vets will give you a fancy cone in order to help prevent your pup from licking his stitches.
While most dogs absolutely hate this cone, it’s very important to keep it on to make sure he stays away from his battle scars.
A few other things to keep in mind:
- You’ll want to carry him up and down any stairs for at least a week
- Periodically check the surgery site to make sure he’s healing properly
- Make sure to avoid baths for at least two weeks so that no water bothers his stitches
- If you have other dogs or pets in the house, make sure to keep them separate so that they don’t roughhouse while your dog heals
If you have any other questions, or if you have concerns that your dog isn’t healing normally, be sure to contact your vet so they can confirm everything’s on track!