"WE JUST BOUGHT A FEMALE PUPPY. OF COURSE, WE DON'T WANT TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE PET OVERPOPULATION PROBLEM BY LETTING HER HAVE PUPPIES, BUT WE ARE RELUCTANT TO HAVE HER SPAYED BECAUSE OF SOME OF THE STORIES WE HAVE HEARD ABOUT POSSIBLE ADVERSE EFFECTS SUCH AS GETTING FAT AND LAZY"

In addition to the population problem, in general, there are more adverse effects in NOT neutering your pet than in neutering. Not all dogs that are neutered become fat and lazy. There may be some weight gain because of hormonal changes that occur after neutering, but some dogs just have a natural tendency to put on weight after sexual maturity, as is the case in some humans who get a "middle-age spread". Many dogs who are not neutered may also become very obese, even to the point of the weight being an actual threat to their health. It is important to try to balance food intake and exercise with any pet so that its weight is proportionate with its size.

Each heat cycle in a bitch increases the incidence of breast cancer. Also, if she is not spayed, she may get a life-threatening disease called pyometra (infection or pus in the uterus) which will necessitate the removal of the uterus. This emergency spay will be especially dangerous as the bitch will be gravely ill. A male dog is subject to prostate problems and testicular cancers and may be more prone to leg lifting (marking) if not castrated. Intact male dogs can act aggressively toward other dogs and people because they are trying to protect and control their territory. In the male mind, "territory" may be your property, its toys, females in heat, a bowl of food, and so on.

There are studies that show that a neutered dog has a longer lifespan than one who is not. It is under less physiologic stress, and has less tendency to roam. By staying home, it is less likely to get involved in dog fights, be hit by a car, or be exposed to many of the numerous diseases and accidents in which a dog may get involved. And just as important, he/she won't contribute to the already burgeoning population of homeless puppies, something we should all be ashamed of.

Let's face it. Spaying and neutering dogs who are not intended for breeding or for the show ring is simply the right thing to do!



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