What is neutering?

Neutering is the general term used to describe surgically removing some or all of the reproductive organs of your dog. In males, the operation is called castration and in females it’s called spaying.

Why should I neuter my dog?

Neutering your dog will remove their sexual urges, prevent pregnancy and provide many health benefits. Both male and female dog neutering procedures are some of the most common veterinary surgeries performed today and your vet will be very familiar with the procedure. It is important you have confidence in your vet so discuss the procedure with them until you are comfortable with the process.

Image of a dog for vets now article 'Should I get my dog neutered?'
Neutering your dog prevents unwanted pregnancies and provides a number of other health benefits

When should I get my dog neutered?

Dog neutering is usually done at a young age to maximize the perceived benefits, especially behaviourally. However, there is still much to be gained from neutering dogs when they are older. Talk through the options with your vet as they will be best able to advise you on your situation.

Are there any alternatives to dog neutering?

Neutering your dog is almost always the best option. However, if you have specific reasons for delaying neutering or not neutering at all then discuss this with your vet.

There are currently a variety of ‘temporary’ castration and spaying products available. They are generally some form of chemical given to your pet to control the sex hormones and their effects. These are obviously not without risk of side effects and so it is again important to discuss with your vet.

How much does dog neutering cost?

Every practice will differ slightly in their pricing so it is difficult to give you real numbers. In general though, castration is a quicker and simpler procedure than spaying and so will usually carry a cheaper price tag and a quicker recovery time.

What if I change my mind about dog neutering?

Apart from some of the chemical methods, neutering is a permanent process. Once your dog has been neutered there’s no going back! Make sure you have thought things through carefully before committing to having your dog neutered.

What if I want my dog to have a litter?

While nobody is going to stop you doing this, make sure you are clear on the reasons why you want a litter.

Although everyone loves their own pet and thinks they are perfect, it is important to carefully think through why you want to breed from your pet specifically. You need to weigh up the pros and cons carefully. Here are a few things to consider:

  • most ‘stud’ animals have a proven ‘excellence’.
  • you may want a ‘replacement’ for your pet, but you will potentially have six or seven ‘replacements’ to raise and rehome.
  • if things don’t go to plan, medical care can be expensive.
  • breeding of animals is an area not covered under most insurance policies. Will you be able to afford if this goes wrong? – A caesarian will cost somewhere between £500 and £2000 during the daytime and could be more out of hours. Your vet will expect payment in full and at the time.
  • rearing a healthy litter is still costly by the time you have fed, wormed, vaccinated, cared for and loved them through the first weeks of life. Most people do not make money from breeding.