With animal charities dealing with hundreds of thousands of unwanted animals each year, responsible pet owners know the importance of desexing. Unless you are specifically planning to breed from your dog, we recommend that you have them neutered (removing the reproductive organs).
In males the procedure is called ‘castration’. We remove the testicles and the spermatic cord. Castration also removes the risk of testicular cancer and means that your dog is less likely to suffer from prostate problems later in life. The testicles are the main producer of the hormone testosterone, which can influence behaviour. By removing them, the level of testosterone in the blood is reduced, which should lower the chance of your pet straying and reduce dominant behaviour such as fighting, leg mounting and aggression towards other dogs.
In females the procedure is called ‘spaying’. We remove the ovaries and the womb (the uterus) so she can’t produce any eggs, come into season or become pregnant. Spaying also removes the risk of phantom pregnancies, ovarian cancer and reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer later on in life and Pyometra (a serious infection of the womb).
The recommended timing of neutering will vary depending on your dog’s breed, any previous health conditions and behaviour. Usually we recommend routine desexing at five to six months of age for cats and dogs of both sexes.