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Dog castration: advantages, disadvantages, alternatives

Castration, or sterilization, is a surgical procedure that involves removing a dog's reproductive organs. In the male, it is the testicles, and in the female, it is
Team Jagger.Lewis
Date of publication
June 2, 2023
Castration of dogs is a common practice recommended by veterinarians for a multitude of reasons, ranging from controlling the canine population to preventing certain diseases. However, some owners may be hesitant to have their pet undergo this surgery. That is why it is essential to understand what castration consists of, its advantages, disadvantages and the alternatives available.
Dog castration: what is it?

Castration, or sterilization, is a surgical procedure that involves removing a dog's reproductive organs. In the male, it is the testicles, and in the female, it is the ovaries and sometimes the uterus (ovario-hysterectomy). The main objective of this operation is to prevent reproduction.

Why castrate your dog?

Every year, millions of dogs are abandoned around the world. The shelters are overwhelmed and cannot accommodate all of them. By limiting the breeding of dogs, we reduce the number of puppies that could end up in shelters.

It's important to note that while you think you can find a home for all the puppies your dog might have, Each puppy placed in a house represents one less place for a dog in a shelter waiting to be adopted. Also, there is no guarantee that these puppies or their descendants will not end up in a shelter in the future.

Castrating your dog is therefore an act of responsibility. It ensures that your pet will not contribute to the increase in the number of homeless dogs. It also shows your commitment to promoting animal welfare and supporting the efforts of shelters to find homes for dogs already waiting for adoption.

Afterwards, It prevents certain diseases related to the reproductive organs, such as testicular tumors and reduces certain behaviors related to sex hormones, such as aggressiveness, urinary marking, and running away during periods of heat in males.

What are the disadvantages?

Despite its numerous advantages, castration also has disadvantages. It can cause changes in behavior or morphology in dogs. For example, weight gain may be observed after castration. In addition, castration can increase the risk of certain diseases such as osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer), hypothyroidism, or urinary incontinence, especially in females. Finally, it is a surgical operation, which always involves risks, although low.

Alternatives to castration

If you are hesitant to have your dog castrated, know that there are alternatives. One option is vasectomy or tubal ligation, which sterilizes the animal while leaving its reproductive organs intact. This may limit some of the side effects of castration, but it does not suppress sexual behaviors and does not eliminate the risk of certain diseases.

Another alternative is chemical sterilization, which uses hormones to suppress reproduction. This method is less invasive, but it can have side effects and often needs to be repeated periodically.

Finally, it is also possible to manage the reproduction of your dog by controlling its environment, by preventing it from meeting females in heat, for example. However, this requires great vigilance.

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