Featured artist: Shannon Crees

Benefits of desexing your dog

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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Benefits of desexing your dog

Dogs can start having litters of puppies at a very young age and throughout their lifetime can potentially deliver many litters. This problem highlights the importance of desexing your dog at an early age and reducing the number of unwanted animals in our communities.

In addition to preventing unwanted litters, desexing may result in a positive behavioural change in your dog. Desexing may also minimise the chance of your dog developing reproductive organ related health issues that may have otherwise been detrimental to your dog's life.

If your dog is desexed and you can provide proof, you will pay a reduced registration fee.

A desexed dog is less likely to:

  • Wander or run away, especially males.
  • Be hit by a car while wandering or running away.
  • Develop certain type of tumours such as uterine, ovarian and mammary (breast) cancer in females and possibly testicular cancer in males (less common).
  • Get into fights over territory or mating partners, this reduces injuries such as abscesses and infected wounds which are often serious and sometimes fatal.
  • Anti-social behaviour such as aggression towards people or other animals and excessive urine marking, thus reducing the enjoyment of owning a pet and disrupting the human bond.

There are significant costs involved in caring for a litter of puppies. A dog can have an average of 4 -10 puppies per litter. Each puppy must be fed, wormed, and treated for fleas. It is also a legal requirement that each puppy must be microchipped before they are sold or given away. They should also be vaccinated at 6-8 weeks of age (this is repeated at 12-14 weeks and 16-18 weeks depending on the vaccine and the protocol used). All this can add up to $180–$250 per puppy for the first 8 weeks alone.

Desexing your dog is a much easier and less expensive option.

If you are having difficulties meeting the financial requirements of desexing, you may qualify for a financial assistance program that is offered by organisations. For further information contact:

Myths and Facts

There are many myths about desexing. Following your dog's recovery from what is a routine and reasonably straight forward procedure, there are only positive side effects for both you and your dog to look forward to.

Myth: My dog will get fat and lazy

An overweight dog is the result of too much food and lack of exercise; it has nothing to do with being desexed. Most pets are desexed at an age when they are becoming an adult and therefore they don't exercise as much as they use to as a puppy. This is then interpreted as being due to the desexing because it was done at the same time. Invariably, it is just the energy requirements needed by your dog at this stage are changing.

Myth: I just want him/her to have 1 litter

There is no medical or behavioural advantage for a dog to have a litter. It is stressful, expensive and provides no positive benefit to the mother dog. It is actually more beneficial if a dog does not even have a heat cycle as this reduces the chance of your dog developing mammary cancer to almost zero.

Myth: The surgery is too painful

It is also painful giving birth to several puppies and then feeding them several times a day for up to 6 weeks. Any surgical procedure will cause some discomfort around the surgical site and your dog should be kept quiet in the immediate post operative period. Pain management is an important part of the surgery and your vet will ensure that this is adequate. Most of the problems post operations are related to dog's feeling good very quickly and wanting to run around thus possibly disrupting the surgical site than being in pain.

Myth: I want my children to see the miracle of birth

It would be more beneficial to teach children the advantages of desexing their pet dog and promoting responsible pet ownership. In more than 80% of cases, the birthing process takes place in the middle of the night and a lot of human contact with new born puppies is strongly discouraged. Though most mother dogs have their puppies unassisted, a caesarean – if needed – will result in a bill of many hundreds of dollars.