Labrador Retriever Club, Inc.
Founded 1981 An AKC Licensed Club
What do "spay" and "neuter" really mean?
Female dogs are spayed by removing their reproductive organs, and male dogs are neutered by removing their testicles. In both cases the operation is performed while the dog is under anesthesia. Depending on your dog's age, size, and health, he or she will stay at your veterinarian's office for a few hours or a few days. Depending upon the procedure, your dog may need stitches removed after a few days. Your veterinarian can fully explain spay and neuter procedures to you and discuss with you the best age at which to sterilize your dog.
Spaying and Neutering: It's Good for Your Dog
Communities spend millions of dollars to control unwanted animals. Irresponsible breeding contributes to the problem of dog bites and attacks. Animal shelters are overburdened with surplus animals. Stray pets and homeless animals get into trash containers, defecate in public areas or on private lawns, and frighten or anger people who have no understanding of their misery or needs. Some stray animals also scare away or kill birds and wildlife.
Spay or neuter surgery is a one-time cost that is relatively small when compared to the benefits. It's a small price to pay for the health of your pet and the prevention of more unwanted animals.
MYTH: "My dog will get fat and lazy."
FACT: The truth is that most dogs get fat and lazy because their owners feed them too much and don't give them enough exercise.
MYTH: "It's better to have one litter first."
FACT: Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs as young as eight weeks of age. Check with your veterinarian about the appropriate time for these procedures.
MYTH: "But my dog is a purebred."
FACT: So is at least one out of every four dogs brought to animal shelters around the country. There are just too many dogs - mixed breed and purebred.
MYTH: "I want my dog to be protective."
FACT: Spaying or neutering does not affect a dog's natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog's personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.
MYTH: "I don't want my male dog to feel like less of a male."
FACT: Dogs don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a dog's basic personality. He doesn't suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.
MYTH: "It's too expensive to have my dog spayed or neutered."
FACT: The cost of spaying or neutering depends on the sex, size, and age of the dog, your veterinarian's fees, and a number of other variables. But whatever the actual price, spay or neuter surgery is a one-time cost - a relatively small cost when compared to all the benefits. It's a bargain compared to the cost of having a litter and ensuring the health of the mother and litter; two months of pregnancy and another two months until the litter is weaned can add up to significant veterinary bills and food costs if complications develop. Most importantly, it's a very small price to pay for the health of your dog and the prevention of the births of more unwanted dogs.
MYTH: "I'll find good homes for all the puppies."
FACT: You may find homes for all of your dog's litter. But each home you find means one less home for the dogs in shelters who need good homes. Also, in less than one year's time, each of your dog's offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population. The problem of dog overpopulation is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.