You need to neuter or spay your dog, right?
Of course that is what your vet tells you, that it’s just the standard because there are too many dogs in the world. There have been too many shelter dogs because of unwanted pregnancies and you need to be a responsible, conscious dog owner if you have an intact dog.
I am totally against just randomly breeding dogs for the sake of getting puppies. As there are just too many unwanted dogs in the world. I am not against spaying or neutering, but definetely don't recommend early neutering. As it may be healthier to not do so, it is good to understand it and why or why not.
With that being said I do support those conscious and responsible, preferably natural rearing breeders whose role it is to continue the genetics of their specific breeds, and I very much respect their jobs and dedication. It takes a lot of work and tireless commitment to be a responsible, conscious dog breeder.
I especially am in support of those who raise their puppies with natural rearing methods, use methods such as puppy culture to raise the pups and breed responsibly for healthy genetics, health test for disease prevention instead of for looks or show quality. Plus have a wait list of responsible puppy parents to place their litters in conscious, preferably toxin free, raw feeding homes.
If you are a conscious dog owner and will be intent on preventing any unplanned litters, if you have a female dog and can manage her heat cycles and your male unneutered boy is not loose on the town or having behavioral issues you may want to keep your dog intact and not spay or neuter at all.
So what is the holistic perspective regarding spaying and neutering?
When spaying or neutering your dog, It will basically shut down the main source of the reproductive hormones, period. Which are just as important for animals in their health and well being as it is for humans to keep theirs intact, basically.
While neutering prevents ever having to deal with heat cycles and sex behaviors and pregnancy, you certainly have to evaluate the risks or losing those important hormones and other factors against the benefits for you and your dog alike.
I often refer my customers to Dr. Becker's video when I am talking to anyone about this subject as she really explains the whole subject as it is certainly a loaded one.
“Dr. Becker quickly changed her recommendation for her patients from automatic spays or neuters, and the younger the better, to a more holistic approach in which surgeries, including sterilization and desexing, should only be performed when there’s a medical necessity. She also believes shelter pets should be sterilized rather than desexed (spayed or neutered) in order to preserve their sex hormones.”
PLEASE WATCH OR LISTEN TO THIS VIDEO IF YOU HAVE HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS SUBJECT
The decision to sterilize, spay, or neuter your pet, at what age, and with what technique is a very personal decision that is based on your pet’s breed, temperament, personality, and your commitment to training, lifestyle management, and responsible pet ownership. – Dr. Karen Becker
I completely agree with Dr. Becker’s point of view of spaying and neutering pets too young.
When spaying or neutering is done we automatically remove all of the sex hormones in our dogs including testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. All animals have these hormones for additional and important body functions beyond reproduction that we may not be aware of.
While neutering prevents pregnancy, you need to evaluate the risks against the benefits to decide where the balance point is for you and your animals. There are been several studies proving that spaying/neutering in dogs can contribute to disease as they age, including:
- Hip dysplasia
- Cranial cruciate ligament
- Mast cell tumors
Early neutering, especially, which is recommended by many conventional vets, has been the biggest complaint from holistic veterinarians. Since several of these diseases are found in early neutered dogs, you may want to consider an alternative altering surgery on your dog, which means considering a vasectomy over a neuter, or an ovary sparing spay. Ovary Sparing Spays (OSS) and Vasectomies preserve hormone levels while still eliminating the risk of unwanted pregnancies.
Here is a link to a document with more information on these procedures:ALTERNATIVE ALTERING
If you choose to spay or neuter your dog, after considering all the risks and reasons, and you still feel you cannot deal with an animal that has sex hormones intact, make sure you allow your dog to fully mature physically before having the operation done. Smaller breed dogs mature faster, maybe at about a year or so, while large breed dogs are not fully mature to two years or beyond.