Why should I desex my dog?
If you do not intend to breed from your dog surgical desexing has undoubted advantages both in the male and the female.
In the male dog:
- It removes the sexual urge so that if the dog gets the scent of a bitch in oestrus he is unlikely to show any interest which in certain breeds can be an undoubted advantage
- May Reduce urine marking as an adult
- Reduces the chances of medical problems such as testicular cancer, prostate problem/cancer, and certain perianal skin conditions, and tumours.
In female dogs:
Desexing the bitch prevents oestrus as well as breeding. Females will generally have a heat (oestrus) cycle twice, which can last for about 3 weeks. They will spot blood and can obviously fall pregnant should they be mated.
Owners are often tempted to have at least one litter from a bitch. There appears to be a general misconception that having a litter will improve temperament. There is no scientific evidence to support this theory whereas it has been proven that neutering in the bitch not only obviously prevents subsequent and not uncommon diseases of the uterus such as Pyometra, which can be life threatening, but also reduces the possibility of mammary cancer.
Once desexed the bitch will have no oestrus and will not have unwanted puppies or phantom pregnancies which in some bitches causes as lot of distress.
When should I desex my dog?
Whilst the general recommendation is to desex your pet between 5-6 months of age, there have been recent updates on recommendations for
LARGE BREEDS OF DOGS. There is new evidence to suggest that there is a benefit to wait until 12 months of age to desex large and giant breeds, particularly male dogs. The evidence suggests that Testosterone can have a beneficial effect on the development of bones and joints in these large breed dogs.
The evidence for large breed female dogs is not as clear, however if possible it would be suggested to wait until after 12 months of age as well. Delaying a female desexing can however come with a few challenges, like managing them if they come on heat, which can be anywhere from 8-10 months on-wards. They will drop blood, and need to be kept away from possible male suitors which can be too hard to manage. In such cases earlier desexing may need to be considered.
So our recommendation is that all larger and giant breed dogs should be desexed after 12 months of age.
It is a common for owners to want to desex their dog for behavioural reasons. It is important to note that desexing will not change your dogs temperament, nor will it reduce anxiety related behavioural issues.