All you need to know about neutering

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Neutering is by far the best thing you can do for your puppy. Here's why:

Neutered puppies grow up healthier and happier

If you're the proud owner of a female puppy, you'll be interested to hear that spaying can reduce her chances of developing breast cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer. It also lessens the likelihood of uterine infection. All that, plus avoiding the risks associated with an unplanned pregnancy. Some vets prefer to neuter bitches before their first season, but others disagree, so talk to your vet about timing.

If you have a male puppy, you should know that neutering will prevent testicular tumours and may prevent prostate problems. It also reduces the possibility of perennial tumours and hernias.

The benefits to you

The obvious benefit to you and your family of having your puppy neutered is that you'll never have to deal with unwanted litters. But there are other advantages too. Males neutered early in life are less aggressive, less distracted by females in heat, less likely to mark their territory with urine and less likely to mount the furniture or your leg!

Spaying a female puppy will stop stray males camping in your garden and decrease her desire to roam.

Of course, if your puppy is a purebred, you may be thinking you could earn good money from selling any offspring. Bear in mind though, that even for experienced breeders, most of the ‘profits’ is eaten up with stud fees, vaccinations and other healthcare costs. Breeding also requires hard work and specialist knowledge so all in all, it's something best left to the professionals.

The benefits to society

Tragically, every year millions of dogs are put to sleep in this country. Most of them are the result of accidental breeding by free-roaming un-neutered dogs. Neutering your puppy means that you won’t be adding to this problem.

Worries you may have about neutering

Despite all the strong evidence in favour of neutering, you may have some concerns. Let's tackle a few common ones:

Worries about your puppy having an operation

Nobody takes their puppy having an operation lightly but it's important you realise that neutering is a routine procedure that's statistically very safe. The medical benefits far outweigh any risks.

Will my puppy get fat?

There's absolutely no need for a neutered puppy to gain weight. Just remember to adjust how much you feed him in line with his activity level. Or, you could consider switching to a lower calorie food such as Hill’s™ Science Plan™ Light when he reaches one year old.

My puppy's personality will change

Only for the better! He'll be less aggressive, less likely to wander and less likely to spray (mark his territory with urine).

What's involved?

Your pet will be required to have a general anaesthetic for this procedure to be carried out.

For males, the operation involves the removal of both testicles; for females, the removal of the womb and the ovaries or just the ovaries.

Normally your vet will ask you not to give your puppy anything to eat or drink for twelve hours before the operation.

You'll probably be able to bring your puppy home on the same day, although he may have to stay a little longer if he's very sleepy.

Your vet will recommend, and may provide, a light meal to be fed to your puppy that evening.

Once your puppy is back home he'll need a few days of rest and TLC. Don't let him jump around or bite his sutures. Any exercise should be ‘lead exercise only’ and accompanied by you. Your vet will give you further advice on caring for him and let you know when to take your puppy for his post-op check. Usually you will be asked to come back to have the stitches checked and if necessary removed 10 days post surgery.

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