Ask the Vets

Dear Vets:

My male dog Bruno’escaped out of our yard and went missing for two days. Now that he is back at home and safe, my wife thinks it would be a good idea to have him neutered, but I am reluctant. I think it is unnatural to take away Bruno’s manhood and I worry about him being a poor watchdog. What do you think?

Neutering your male dog is a great idea for more reasons than one. First things first; neutered dogs are healthier dogs!

Neutering prevents testicular cancer and reduces the risk of serious prostatic disease. A ‘fixed’ dog feels less of an urge to roam so they are less likely to be injured or even killed in traffic accidents, fights etc. And because he’ll be home more, Bruno will be an even better watchdog.

Neutered pets are generally more content and better behaved. Neutering reduces the annoying and embarrassing urges of male dogs to mount, urine mark and bark excessively.

Although some may consider this routine procedure ‘unnatural’, owners should be careful not to confuse human emotional needs with their pet’s instinctive hormonal responses. Dogs have no psychological sex drive. They feel no need to reproduce and are happier when they are neutered, as they can relax and enjoy being part of the family. In fact, dogs and cats, once spayed or neutered, don’t even notice a change.

Last but not least, there is the benefit of reducing the pet overpopulation problem in Cayman. Most people can see the obvious benefit of spaying a female dog (avoiding unwanted litters), but don’t know that an intact male that mates at large can potentially contribute to the birth of 300 pups a year Now that’s a lot of mouths to feed!

Pets can’t ask to be neutered. It is up to their owners to do what’s best for them so that they can live a long and healthy life. So go ahead and do the responsible thing, neuter Bruno. You’ll be glad you did. Call your local veterinary office to get more information.