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is it necessary to neuter my dog

We see lots of pet owners who ask ‘should I neuter my dog?’ If you’re considering whether or not to neuter your dog, we're here to help you make a fully informed decision. 

Neutering your male dog (castration) - What is currently recommended?

Elective neutering of dogs (castration) is one of the most common veterinary procedures performed.

Castration is relatively simple proceudre carried out on a day patient basis so your dog can go home the same day. Whilst the recovery time varies between individuals, usually animals are bright and well the day after surgery and can return to normal exercise within 7-10 days.

Lots of pet owners ask "Should i castrate my dog?" Knowledge of the pros and cons associated with castration enables us to provide tailored advice specific to your pet. At Calder Vets, we continually review and keep abreast of the most current veterinary guidelines and studies and we have brought together some up-to-date facts to help you to make a fully informed decision.

- Castration reduces the risk of your dog straying after females in season, which reduces the risk of your dog becoming lost or being involved in a road traffic accident.

- Castration prevents unwanted matings/litters

- Castration can reduce or even stop hypersexual behaviour, such as mounting and urine scent-making

- Some uncastered males can develop aggresive behaviours towards other males. Castration may prevent or reduce this behaviour

- Behaviours such as anxiety and fear agreesion are not typically improved by neutering. Castration carried out at the wrong time could potentially make things worse. We would advise that you see a professional veterinary behaviourist to help with the above issues

- Castration prevents the risk of testicular tumours and some prostatic problems, but therapeutic castration can still be done should these occur later in life

- Previous evidence suggested castration reduced the risk of prostatic cancer but more recent studies suggest this is not the case and may have the opposite effect.

- There is some evidence that castration performed too early, or unneccessarily, could potentially lead to a higher incidence of orthopaedic conditions such as cruciate ligament injury.

- Non-surgical options to reduce hormones are available e.g injections, implants and may be a better option for some animals

If after having a risk-benefit assessment discussion with your Vet or Veterinary Nurse you decide to castrate your dog, another good question to answer is “At what age do I castrate my dog?” This is largely breed-dependent as sexual maturity occurs at different ages in different breeds. Castration can be performed as young as six months where deemed suitable. Ideally your dog would be fully mature before the surgery is performed and this may be up to 2 years in large breed dogs.

It’s important to remember that every pet is different and therefore the advice we give about neutering can vary. If you’re considering whether or not to neuter your dog, we are here to help you make a fully informed decision. We offer free pre-neutering consults with our nurses who, along with our Vets, are able to tailor the advice specifically to your pet.

If you would like to book a pre-neutering appointment or have any questions please give your local Calder Vets branch a call. Our team will be more than happy to help.