Why it is important to spay your female dog

It is important to spay your female dog before her first heat or as soon as you acquire her, if she if older.  There are many myths about spaying dogs and many benefits to doing so.

First, we will discuss the benefits.  When a dog is spayed, her uterus and ovaries are removed.  This totally eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer.  If the dog is spayed before her first heat, the risk of breast cancer is practically eliminated, as well.  Further, the risk of pyrometria, which is an infection of the ovaries that can occur after birth or after heat, is eliminated too.  Pyrometria can kill a dog in the same way that a burst appendix can kill a human.

Of course, the most obvious benefit of spaying your dog is that she cannot have puppies.  Since there are so many unwanted puppies in the world, a dog should be an exceptional purebred dog with several titles before being bred.  Thousands of puppies and unwanted older dogs are euthanized every year because there are not enough homes for them.

Having a litter is not a way to make a quick buck, either.  Properly treating the mother and puppies is an expensive proposition with all the puppy shots and special food for mom and puppies.  Breeders frequently find themselves going in the hole when they produce a litter.

Spaying your dog reduces the incidence of genetically transferred medical problems.  Problems such as hip dysplasia, temperament problems, and susceptablity to certain diseases are inherited.  If you do not breed your dog, you do not continue these problems in her puppies.

Spaying your dog also helps reduce hormone mediated behaviorual problems such as fighting other females, trying to escape to be breed by a dog, and the attraction of intact males trying to get in the yard or house to mate the dog.

Now, the myths.   Spaying causes dogs to get fat.  Spaying does not cause dogs to get fat.  Excessive food consumption causes dogs to get fat.  Your dog may require 25% less food after spaying to maintain the same weight.  This can even benefit your pocket book as you will have to buy less food over the lifetime of a spayed dog versus an intact dog.

Females should have a litter before being spayed to make sure they mature sexually.  Females do not need to have one litter before being spayed.  Having puppies is very hard on a dog and can even kill her.  It is much safer to have her spayed than to allow her to get pregnant.

Surgery is risky and might kill my dog. While spaying is major surgery, it is the most common surgery performed by veterinarians.  Most dogs come through the spaying procedure with no problem.  In fact, it is safer than having puppies.

Spaying costs too much.  Spaying does cost money.  However, there are low cost or no cost spay/neuter clinics in most cities that can bring the cost down quite a bit.  Also, spaying is about the same cost or less than having a litter of puppies, if nothing goes wrong.  If the dog must have a cesarean section or other surgery, the cost of that litter of puppies just went up astronomically.

Spaying is healthier for the dog and your pocketbook than leaving the dog intact.