While sterilizing your pet is a very safe, very common procedure, there are a few things you’ll have to keep in mind. Your vet will no doubt advise that you not feed your dog for at least eight hours before surgery. The dog will be given pre-anesthetic drugs to reduce anxiety, and to get his body ready for the general anesthetic. With an IV hooked up to his shaved forelimb or hindlimb, the sedative will allow the vet to insert a tube through your dog’s mouth into his windpipe to administer gas anesthetic and oxygen.
Sterilizing dogs and cats has been hailed as the most effective method for pet population control. You can help save lives by spaying and neutering your pet. If pets can’t breed, they don’t produce puppies that end up in animal shelters to be adopted or euthanized. Currently, over 56% of dogs and approximately 75% of cats entering shelters are put to sleep.
The perpetuation of myths about spaying and neutering and the high cost cause many people to avoid the procedures, but the fact is sterilization makes your dog a better behaved, healthier pet and will save you money in the long run.
A dog will feel like less of a “man” or “woman” after being sterilized
This myth stems from the human imposing their own feelings of loss on the animal. In fact, your dog will simply have one less need to fulfill. A dog’s basic personality is formed more by environment and genetics than by sex hormones, so sterilization will not change your dog’s basic personality, make your dog sluggish or affect its natural instinct to protect the pack. But it will give you a better behaved pet.
Neutered dogs have less desire to roam, mark territory (like your couch!) and exert dominance over the pack. Spayed dogs no longer experience the hormonal changes during heat cycles that turn your pet into a nervous dog that cries incessantly and attracts unwanted male dogs. Sterilized dogs are more affectionate and less likely to bite, run away, become aggressive, or get into a fight.
Spaying and neutering will cause weight gain
Dogs do not get fat simply by being sterilized. Just like humans, dogs gain weight if they eat too much and exercise too little or if they are genetically programmed to be overweight. The weight gain that people may witness after sterilization is most likely caused by continuing to feed a high energy diet to a dog that is reducing its need for energy as it reaches adult size.
Dogs will mourn the loss of their reproductive capabilities
Not true. Dogs reproduce solely to ensure the survival of their species. They do not raise a puppy for eighteen years. They do not dream of their puppy’s wedding. They do not hope for the comfort of grandchildren in their old age. Female dogs nurse for a few weeks, teach the puppies rules, boundaries, and limitations and send them off to join the pack. Male dogs are not “fathers” in the human sense of the word; they do not even recognize puppies as their own.