A female dog can have two litters a year with up to ten puppies in each litter.
Neutering has a number of benefits. Owning an unneutered female dog can be very stressful when they come into season.For dogs, this can be twice a year and last for up to three weeks. During this time you are likely to notice blood spots around the house and particularly in the areas where your dog sleeps. Whilst in season your female dog can become pregnant if mated with an unneutered male. As well as the mess involved, your female dog may be pursued by persistent male dogs which can make walks very difficult. A female dog in season may try to escape to find a mate and unneutered male dogs will go to great lengths to
meet a female in season including scaling garden walls and running away on walks. A neutered female dog or will no longer come into season and so many of these problems can be avoided.
There are also some medical benefits associated with neutering. In dogs, castration removes the risk of testicular tumours developing and helps to prevent the onset of conditions such as prostate disease which is common in unneutered male dogs. In female dogs, spaying can reduce the risk of mammary tumours and removes the threat of womb infections which can be very serious.
Neutering is a simple operation performed by a vet whilst the animal is under general anaesthetic. In male animals, the operation is called ‘castration’ and involves removing the testes. In female animals, the operation is called ‘spaying’ and involves removing the womb and ovaries. Neutering your pet means that they will no longer be able to reproduce.
Dispelling the Myths
My dog will get fat if I have her neutered
With an appropriate diet and plenty of exercise, there is no reason why your neutered pet should gain weight. It is possible that your dog may need less food than before and your vet will be able to advise you on monitoring your pet’s weight.
Neutering will make my pet better behaved
It is certainly true that neutering can help with some behaviour issues. Neutering male dogs will reduce their need to scent mark. Neutering can also reduce some undesirable dog behaviours such as mounting people’s legs and furniture which can be embarrassing for owners. However, neutering will not ‘fix’ all naughty behaviours and it is important to seek expert advice if your dog is displaying serious problem behaviours.
It is healthier for my dog to have a litter before neutering
This is a myth. There is no medical reason for your pet to have a litter before neutering and pregnancy itself actually carries a number of health risks. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best age to have your dog neutered. It is important to realise that dogs are able to reproduce from a young age. The age at which dogs are able to reproduce does vary hugely and different breeds mature at different speeds so it is always a good idea to consult your vet about your individual dog. For more information about neutering, please speak to your vet.