Spaying and neutering puppies (six to nine months) is a common practice among dog parents, as it is believed to have health benefits for dogs in the long-term.
At the same time, spaying and neutering can also help control population growth and undesirable behaviors, such as reducing overfull shelters and stray dogs, and avoiding the scene of a male dog running off and getting caught with a girl dog in the street.
If you adopt a dog from a shelter, where they may have a “spay-neuter” policy to desex your dog before adoption.
Although there are many benefits of spaying or neutering a puppy, you may choose not to do so for your dog. Here are the most 6 common reasons against spaying or neutering your male dog.
1. Hormonal Disruption
Neutering your male dog can lead to hormonal disruption. When a dog is neutered, some parts of the body are removed, leading to an absence of testosterone. Testosterone plays a vital role in the development of masculine characteristics, such as body shape and behavior.
The lack of testosterone present after neuter means that some dogs may not develop their full adult size, and may experience behavioral changes such as reduced aggression or increased submission. Meanwhile, the lack of testosterone can lead to decreased energy levels and a range of other health issues.
2. Risks of Certain Cancers
The surgery to spay or neuter your dog can be associated with some health risks, such as infection, bleeding, and even death in rare cases.
Neutering your male dog can put him at a higher risk of certain types of cancers. A study found that castrated dogs were more likely to develop cardiac hemangiosarcoma and prostate cancer than intact males. However, unneutered male dogs are more prone to testicular cancer.
Many people argue that early neutering eliminates the risk of testicular cancer, but research shows that doesn’t guarantee complete protection. Therefore, if you have a male dog and don’t want to take any chances, it is recommended that you keep him intact until he gets older.
3. More Likely to Be Overweight
Neutered male dogs are more prone to becoming overweight compared to intact males. This is because their bodies don’t burn as many calories due to reduced activity levels. Furthermore, neutering removes the dog’s natural instinct of roaming around and exploring its environment which also increases the risk of weight gain.
Thus, owners who opt to neuter their male dogs should ensure that their pet is regularly exercised and fed a balanced diet to help maintain its ideal body weight.
4. Joint Disorders
Neutering a dog increases the risk of joint disorders like hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament rupture, and elbow dysplasia. Dogs who have been neutered before they were 6 months old are also more likely to suffer from arthritis later in life. This is because neutering removes hormones that help keep bones and joints healthy.
Additionally, the extra weight that neutering can cause in some dogs can put more strain on their bones and joints, leading to an increased risk of joint-related disorders.
5. Personality and Behavior Will Change
Neutering your male dog may lead to a change in his behavior and personality. After being neutered, dogs are known to become calmer, decreased motivation to work or train, less aggressive toward other dogs, and will be less likely to wander. Your dog may also become more submissive or seek out human attention more often than before.
Whilst these changes may seem like positives for some owners, for many they are undesirable as they take away from the dog’s natural behavior and personality.
Male dogs that aren’t neutered may be more active, playful, and have strong protective instincts. Owners who want a dog that’s full of energy and has a big personality may not want them to lose these traits. So neutering is not your option if you’re such a dog owner.
Neutering can also cause your male dog to become less confident and self-assured. This is because the hormones that are released after being neutered can lead to a decrease in their natural dominance.
Dogs with higher levels of confidence and self-assurance may become more insecure and submissive after being neutered, which could have other negative consequences.
These personality changes aren’t always easy for owners to accept, and if you don’t want your dog to become a different version of himself, then neutering is not the right choice for you.
6. It’s Inhumane to Neuter Your Dog
It is important to remember that neutering your male dog is a surgical procedure, and as such, it can be very traumatic for the animal. Neutering requires general anesthesia, which carries its own risks of complications or even death.
At the same time, after being neutered, dogs may experience considerable pain and discomfort from the incision site, which could lead to infection if not treated properly.
In addition to the potential physical risks, neutering can also be very stressful for your dog both emotionally and mentally. It is a major life change for them and can take some time for them to adjust as well as for you to adapt to their new behavior.
There are 6 reasons not to neuter your male dog, including hormonal disruption, risks of certain cancers, being more likely to be overweight, joint disorders, personality and behavior changes, and it’s inhumane to neuter your dog. For these reasons, it is important to consider all of the risks and potential downsides of neutering before making a decision.
Neutering may be necessary in some cases, but if you’re not sure that it’s the best option for your dog or for your lifestyle, then leaving him intact might be a better choice. Always do your research and consult with a veterinarian about what is best for your pet before neutering.