START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good

9 Myths About Spaying and Neutering

9 Myths About Spaying and Neutering

Don’t let a pervasive myth stop you from spaying your pet. Learn the facts and make an educated decision.


MYTH: My dog will get fat and lazy.

FACT: The only way your dog will get fat and lazy is if you do not provide enough exercise and feed him too much.

Is Your Pet Hungry or Does She Just Want More Food?


MYTH: It’s better for my dog to have one litter before I spay her.

FACT: Medical evidence has shown that a dog who is spayed before her first heat cycle is typically healthier than dogs spayed after the first heat cycle or after having a litter of puppies. Most animal shelters and adoption facilities, as well as many veterinarians, now sterilize dogs as young as eight weeks of age. You should consult your veterinarian about the appropriate time to spay or neuter your dog.

Why Spay or Neuter Your Pet


MYTH: Children should experience the miracle of birth.

FACT: The likelihood of a child actually seeing a dog give birth is slim. Most births occur at night and in a secluded area. The only lesson the child learns is that dogs can be created and discarded as humans see fit. The real miracle your child should experience is the knowledge that by preventing your dog from having babies, you are potentially saving the lives of hundreds of other dogs.


MYTH: My dog is a purebred.

FACT: At least one out of every four dogs turned in to animal shelters around the country are purebred. There are just too many dogs bred, both mixed breed and purebred.


MYTH: My dog will not be protective if I neuter him.

FACT: A dog’s natural instinct to protect his home and family is not affected by spaying or neutering. A dog’s personality owes much more to genetics and environment than sex hormones.


MYTH: I don’t want my male dog to feel like less of a male.

FACT: Dogs have no concept of sexual identity or ego and neutering does not change a dog’s basic personality. He doesn’t suffer in any way when neutered.


MYTH: My dog is so special; I want a puppy just like her.

FACT: A professional dog breeder, whose bloodlines stretch back for generations, has no guarantee of getting a particular characteristic from a litter. The dog owner’s chances are even slimmer. In fact, a whole litter of puppies might wind up getting only the worst characteristics of your pet dog and her mate.


MYTH: Spaying and neutering is too expensive.

FACT: The cost of spaying or neutering is based on the age, size, and sex of the dog, your veterinarian’s fees, and other variables. However, spay or neuter surgery is a one-time cost, and if you factor in the many benefits, such as improved health throughout your dog’s lifetime, it is a relatively small charge. It’s a bargain compared to the costs associated with raising a litter of puppies, such as exams for the mother dog, puppy checks and vaccinations, the extra food you need, etc. If complications arise and you need emergency veterinary services, the costs could rise into the thousands. There is also the amount of time you will need to devote to the mother dog and her babies; two months of pregnancy followed by two more months before the puppies are weaned and ready to go to new homes. Most importantly, the price is small when compared to the satisfaction of knowing that you are not contributing to the very real problem of too many dogs and too few homes available for them. You can also check with your local animal welfare organizations. Many of them offer low-cost spay and neuter services.


MYTH: I have good homes available for all of the puppies.

FACT: True, you may have homes for your puppies, but for every home you find, there is one less home available for a shelter dog. Moreover, do you have guarantees that the people who take your puppies will not breed them and thus add even more dogs to the problem? Remember, the dog overpopulation problem is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.

Top Dog Names of 2011
Why Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Source: Adapted from the Humane Society of the United States

Image: Aidras / via Flickr

Myths and Facts About Spaying and Neutering appeared on, via

Read more: Pet Health, Pets, , ,

By PetMD via DogTime

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Nicolas, selected from petMD

petMD is a leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets. The site maintains the world's largest pet health library, written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. For more information, visit


+ add your own
7:33AM PDT on Mar 20, 2014

" As far as being a "purebread" what does it matter?"..........John C., the word is "purebred" with no "a", which translates to pure BREAD, no such word. Responsible people would only allow breeding to PUREBREDS of the highest quality, to promote their respective breeds in the hope and with the theory that breeding the best TO the best will result in something even better. You're right in that JUST being a "purebred" is not in and of itself ever a reason to breed an animal.

My own purebred (he turned 7 months old yesterday) is at the vet's as I'm typing, and I will pick him up this afternoon after he's gotten an "attitude adjustment.

7:13AM PDT on Mar 20, 2014

Dale B., I've commented in that discussion (about debarking) and I didn't read the info from the author about male dogs not being able to "sniff/smell" an "in heat" female from farther than a couple of feet. If I'd read that, I would have commented about it. That is the STUPIDEST remark I've read in an article posted by someone who supposedly knows about their subject. Male dogs can detect a female "in heat" from a mile away or even more. Their sense of smell is documented to be 100/X more acute than ours. Maybe SHE can't smell her "in heat" female, but then she isn't paid to sniff out drugs or cancers, I bet!

4:18PM PDT on Mar 17, 2014

Humans should also be spayed cause there's an overpopulation of humans already , that were finishing with the Planet. Instead of killing animals in mass, just spay them.

12:32PM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

When I adopted my first stray cat some 30 years ago, she was a tiny little kitten, fitting into the palms of my hands. When I had her fixed, she already had 5 kittens in her womb, being a kitten herself still!

9:10AM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

If you love your animals spay and neuter them.

4:18PM PDT on Mar 13, 2014

Neutering and spaying is also an act of love.

8:54AM PDT on Mar 13, 2014


6:26AM PDT on Mar 13, 2014

I have to throw in an embarrassing/tragic story. Years ago in CT, my husband at the time, refused to neuter his Standard Poodle. A client of mine who bred prize-winning Labrador Retrievers lived about a mile down the road from us. Somehow our dog escaped, found his way to her kennel, scaled two 8ft fences, and nailed one of her bitches.
I felt obligated to contribute to the costs and medical care for 9 Labradoodles and to find homes for mixed breed puppies.
Tragically, our dog was hit and killed in the road on his way home.

6:17AM PDT on Mar 13, 2014

(cut off)...........The "in heat" female that was running loose may have been an "escapee" and nobody knew if she was licensed or not, but according to my neighbor that told me about what had happened, said at LEAST 20 or more dogs were in the pack following her. My male, being "in tact" obviously smelled her and he jumped the fence to join in, My female went with him as they were a "mated" pair, but that surprised me at the time that she would have gone with him or he'd have jumped such a high, and what I thought "secure" fence, but they both obviously did.

6:12AM PDT on Mar 13, 2014

Thank you, Barbara. Angela, for the record, I agree with you about how far an intact male may go to track the scent of a female in heat, and they will jump fences, dig under them and yes, they "technically" are not homeless (stray) dogs. Back in the '60's when I had two Rough Collies (both AKC registered), I did not have either spayed/neutered because I wanted to breed them and had a very high (6-foot) fenced yard, but when my female was in heat, I found dozens of male dogs at my front door! One was a big GSD that was wearing a collar and a license and he and my male got into a nasty fight when I tried to take my female out to "potty". Animal Control was called and they did come out and take that dog but in the meantime, I had been bitten and not sure which dog it was.........the GSD or my own male! Another time, both of my dogs jumped the fence to follow a female "in heat" that was wandering down the street and they just joined in a big PACK that was following her. I was at the doctor's at the time and when I got home, found both my dogs gone and the fence was not damaged, the gate was still shut, but the neighbor told me that Animal Control had apparently been called by somebody and they had come out and taken a dozen or more dogs, probably including both of mine. Since they were both licensed, I did get them both back. I can only imagine what happened to any dog that wasn't licensed or who's owners didn't care enough to try to find them. The "in heat" female that

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Totally unbelievable. Yet I can recall it did seem too much of a coincidence when our first cried e…

If you get a chance, you should try to watch a great movie called "The Whale". http://www.thewha…

And these people drive?????

Really hilarious, most of my cats could just barely stand kisses, they just "suffer" them in quiet o…

AHA! Someone could get a Sci-Fi story out of babies consciously manipulating their mothers' fertilit…

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.