Each year, millions of animals end up in shelters.  Unfortunately, that intake rate is overwhelming to shelters across the nation, and approximately one million animals are euthanized each year due to overcrowding in shelters.  Animals that aren’t spayed or neutered create an epidemic of stray and homeless animals. Not only does spaying or neutering your pet help it live a healthier, longer life, it also affords millions of animals in shelters an extra chance to find their forever home.  

There are many myths surrounding spaying and neutering pets. Learn more about the facts here so that you can feel confident that spaying or neutering your pet is right for them.  

#1: Spaying and Neutering Operations Are Too Expensive

One of the many reasons dog owners may avoid spaying or neutering their pet is because they think it will cost too much. 

Why It’s False

While many veterinary offices do charge office and surgery fees for spay and neuter services, those fees are cheaper than ever before. The spay and neuter operation has become very commonplace, making the procedure quick and predictable for most veterinarians. Additionally, spaying or neutering is always cheaper than the cost of your pet having and raising a litter.  

At Penny Paws veterinary clinics, we aim to make all services accessible and affordable.  Call today for more information on the spay and neuter services that we offer at all Penny Paws locations

#2: Spaying or Neutering Will Hurt My Pet’s Personality

Another common misconception among novice or inexperienced dog owners is that spaying or neutering will change their dog’s personality. Pet owners may worry that hormonal changes from spaying and neutering will cause their dog to lose vitality or become depressed or even aggressive.

Why It’s False

Spay and neuter operations have no negative impact on your pet’s personality. These procedures do cause hormonal changes, but these changes actually benefit your dog.

 

Your dog will experience fewer territorial urges, feel less competitive, and be less prone to aggressive behaviors. Spaying and neutering allows dogs to enjoy their natural lives without regularly fluctuating hormonal changes.  

#3: Spaying or Neutering Will Affect My Pet’s Intelligence

Some pet owners are afraid that spaying or neutering may affect their dog’s personality in ways other than just mood. Anecdotal evidence and rumors about spay and neuter operations claim that spaying and neutering causes a reduction in intelligence or changes in the way a dog interacts with humans and other dogs.

Why It’s False

There is no medical evidence that spaying or neutering impacts a dog’s intelligence. Intelligence in dogs is determined by genetics and the amount of mental enrichment they receive. The hormonal changes caused by spaying and neutering do not change a dog’s current or potential intelligence any more than puberty affects a human’s potential intelligence.

Dogs will continue to play with and engage humans and other animals, much like before the operation. If your dog exhibits changed or problematic behavior, regardless of how long it has been since a spay or neuter procedure, it may be due to another or underlying issue, and you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

#4: Spaying or Neutering Will Cause My Dog to Gain Weight

Humans often associate hormonal changes in themselves with weight fluctuations. Therefore, it’s not surprising that one of the biggest myths about spay and neuter procedures in dogs involves weight gain. The assumption here is that since spay and neuter procedures cause changes in hormone levels, dogs will gain weight due to the procedure.

Why It’s False

There is no evidence that the hormonal changes caused by spaying and neutering impacts weight in dogs. Again, this assumption comes from preconceived notions of how hormonal changes affect human bodies. In truth, lack of exercise and overfeeding are the most common culprits for weight gain in dogs.

If your dog suddenly puts on a lot of weight or experiences frequent fluctuations in weight, speak to a veterinary professional as soon as possible.

#5: My Dog is Too Young To Be Spayed or Neutered 

Some pet owners believe that waiting to spay or neuter a dog until after they reach sexual maturity and have mated or given birth to a litter is beneficial for the dog. There are many possible reasons for a pet owner to believe this, including: 

  • The desire to create more dogs like their current pet.
  • The desire to competitively breed dogs.
  • The assumption that sexual maturity holds more benefits than drawbacks for dogs.

Why It’s False

While many worry that their puppy needs to reach sexual maturity before they are spayed or neutered, male dogs are mature enough to father puppies at six months, and female dogs have their first heat cycle as early as four months. Veterinarians typically recommend spaying or neutering your pet between the ages of six to nine months. 

Spaying or neutering some dogs early is actually beneficial for the dog’s health, as it can reduce the risk of certain cancers and other issues. If you adopt a puppy that has not yet been spayed or neutered, you should consult with a veterinarian immediately to determine the best age for them to have the procedure.  

#6: Indoor Dogs Don’t Need to Be Spayed or Neutered

If pet owners believe the only reason to neuter or spay their dog is to prevent pregnancy, they may think it’s unnecessary to spay or neuter if their dog isn’t exposed to other dogs with which it could reproduce.

Why It’s False

Sexual maturity in animals is a risky business. At this stage in an animal’s development, behavior can become territorial, unpredictable, or violent. While this isn’t always the case with domesticated animals, such as dogs, it is still a possibility. 

Spay and neuter operations reduce the hormones that trigger these behaviors in dogs. Spayed and neutered dogs exhibit fewer territorial or aggressive tendencies and enjoy a more relaxed quality of life.

Additionally, there is no guarantee that your dog will not at some point dash out of an open door unexpectedly and go on an adventure without you, especially if they are in heat and in search of a potential mate.  Spaying or neutering your pet guarantees that even in unpredictable cases, they will not be able to mate.  

Find Safe and Affordable Spay and Neuter Services

If you’re ready to have your dog spayed or neutered, your community has resources that may help. Reach out to Penny Paws, with four locations throughout Texas, to ask about clinics, animal shelters, or drives that offer free or low-cost spay and neuter solutions. Also, look into our mobile pet vaccination clinic to keep your dog healthy and prevent common diseases.