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A neutered dog is a happy dog Kate Davies | Sat, May 12 2012 12:00 PM

Did you know that spaying or neutering your dog could literally save his or her life? Unspayed female dogs are at a greater risk of developing mammary tumors and pyomentra, and unneutered male dogs are at a greater risk of contracting testicular cancer.

Many myths abound regarding the spaying and neutering of dogs.

Some people seem to think that their dog will get fat and lazy, or that their male dog will feel like less of a male, or their female dog won’t get to enjoy the “miracle” of motherhood. Firstly, dogs get fat and lazy because of improper nutrition and not enough exercise. Secondly, dogs don’t think about their gender in the way that we do, and don’t view motherhood or fatherhood in the same way either.

Hundreds of dogs and puppies die in the shelters every year in San Diego County, and it has nothing to do with how cute or old they are, and everything to do with the overpopulation crisis that our shelters face. There just aren’t enough homes for them all, and breeding your dog just adds to the problem.

Neutering your male will also lessen the chance of him getting hit by a car on the road because he is seeking out a female in heat.

Canine pregnancy is not only expensive for the owner (not to mention the medical costs involved in taking care of newborn puppies), but can also be life-threatening for the mother dog.

When I ran Pit Bull Rescue San Diego, part of my job was going to the shelters to evaluate dogs that we were considering taking into our program. The experience haunts me to this day; every time I walked out of the shelter, I knew that some of the faces that had looked up so sweetly at me would not be there the next time I visited.

Please help solve the pet population crisis by spaying and neutering your dog. Not only will he or she be at less risk of serious medical conditions, but spayed and neutered dogs live at least two to three years longer than dogs who are intact. This means that your dog will live a longer and healthier life with you, and isn’t that what we all want?

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