The birth of a litter of puppies or kittens is certainly a miracle to behold. But it’s time for a reality check - there are simply not enough homes for all the puppies and kittens being born. As a responsible owner, it is your duty to show true compassion for your dog or cat by having your pet spayed (for females) or neutered (for males) before 6 months of age.
There are people who would give you all kinds of reasons why you should not alter your pets and even quote medical research to back up their claims. But, if you look closely, you will find that the “research” is not accepted by the major canine health professional bodies in the world. Some of the myths surrounding spaying and neutering are:
MYTH: My dog is a purebred.
FACT: Many dogs abandoned in the street or turned in to animal shelters around the country are purebred. There are just too many dogs bred, both mixed breed and purebred.
MYTH: My dog will not be protective if I neuter him.
FACT: A dog’s natural instinct to protect his home and family is not affected by spaying or neutering. A dog’s personality owes much more to genetics and environment than sex hormones.
MYTH: I don’t want my male dog to feel like less of a male.
FACT: Dogs have no concept of sexual identity or ego and neutering does not change a dog’s basic personality. He doesn’t suffer in any way when neutered.
MYTH: My dog is so special; I want a puppy just like her.
FACT: A professional dog breeder, whose bloodlines stretch back for generations, has no guarantee of getting a particular characteristic from a litter. The dog owner’s chances are even slimmer. In fact, a whole litter of puppies might wind up getting only the worst characteristics of your pet dog and her mate.
MYTH: Spaying and neutering is too expensive.
FACT: The cost of spaying or neutering is based on the age, size, and sex of the dog, your veterinarian’s fees, and other variables. However, spay or neuter surgery is a one-time cost, and if you factor in the many benefits, such as improved health throughout your dog’s lifetime, it is a relatively small charge. It’s a bargain compared to the costs associated with raising a litter of puppies, such as exams for the mother dog, puppy checks and vaccinations, the extra food you need, etc. If complications arise and you need emergency veterinary services, the costs could rise into the thousands. There is also the amount of time you will need to devote to the mother dog and her babies; two months of pregnancy followed by two more months before the puppies are weaned and ready to go to new homes. Most importantly, the price is small when compared to the satisfaction of knowing that you are not contributing to the very real problem of too many dogs and too few homes available for them. You can also check with your local animal welfare organizations. Many of them offer low-cost spay and neuter services.
MYTH: I have good homes available for all of the puppies.
FACT: True, you may have homes for your puppies, but for every home you find, there is one less home available for a shelter dog. Moreover, do you have guarantees that the people who take your puppies will not breed them and thus add even more dogs to the problem? Remember, the dog overpopulation problem is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.