4 Common Myths about Canine Spaying and Neutering

4 Common Myths about Canine Spaying and Neutering

Health & Safety

Unless you want to breed from a dog, it's far better to have them “done” because it makes life a lot easier in the home and there's no chance of any unwanted puppies appearing on the scene. Neutered and spayed dogs are far less likely to develop certain forms of cancer too, but there are other things that many people believe to be true about these procedures that are in fact myths, four of which are listed in this article.

Myth 1: Bitches should have one litter before they are spayed and males should sire a litter before they get the “snip”!

This is a bit of a myth because there is no evidence that bitches need to have a litter before they are spayed or that male dogs should sire a litter before they are neutered! In short, there is absolutely no need to go through the pressures of living with an entire dog until you think it is “safe” and nicer to have them “done”. There are also many health benefits involved in spaying and neutering dogs which includes preventing certain nasty forms of cancer.

Myth 2: A dog's behaviour will change for the worse!

Sometimes being neutered or spayed will change a dog's character, but this is typically for the better! Dogs and bitches tend to be happier and more settled all round. No more hormonal issues and there's less chance of dogs marking their territory around a home. The following behaviours will be gone which most pet owners would more than welcome:

  • Humping anything that moves
  • Marking territories
  • Taking off in search of a mate

Myth 3: Dogs put on weight when they've been “done”!

This really does depend on the owner, although there is a chance of dogs putting on a little more weight after they've had the surgery. However, because of a dog's age when they are neutered or spayed, they would be putting on weight as they grow anyway. The thing that all dog owners need to watch is just how much food they feed their pets on a daily basis which has to include the amount of treats they’re given and to ensure they get enough exercise to burn off their calorie intake.

A dog's diet need to suit their ages too which is something you need to bear in mind. However, every dog is different and therefore there is no one-size-fits-all doggy diet, it's up to you to seek advice from a vet or nutritionist as to how much food your dog should be getting on a daily basis if you are unsure of how much to give them.

Myth 4: Neutering and spaying is very expensive!

Spaying a female is more expensive than neutering a male, but this is because the surgery is more involved. However, if you think how much it would cost to treat a dog should they develop a nasty form of cancer that's associated with them not being “fixed”, then the cost of them having the surgery is minimal. The other thing to bear in mind is that when dogs develop these forms of cancer, they are often very invasive which means they are virtually impossible to treat let alone cure. In short, your dog's life span could be considerably shortened which makes the cost of having them neutered all the more appealing no matter how much it costs.

If you are at all concerned about the cost of having your pet neutered or spayed, you should discuss things with your vet because there are organisations like the PDSA that help with the cost if you qualify for financial help. A vet would be able to offer all the advice needed so your dog has the surgery without it putting too much strain on your bank balance. However, it's an expense that should have been factored into the cost of owning a dog right from the outset when you made the decision to share your home with a canine companion. If you adopt an older dog from a rescue centre, they will already have been spayed and neutered because none of them would be re-homed without having had the surgery.


There are many myths associated with owning and caring for dogs some of which are “old wives tales” whereas some others may have a touch of truth to them. The problem is that all too often things are taken out of context. A great example being that when dogs are “fixed”, it alters their personalities, which is true only not in a negative way. If you are at all concerned about having a dog spayed or neutered, the best people to talk to are vets because they can put your mind at rest and offer the right sort of advice on when the surgery should be carried out on your pet.



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