Monday, March 14, 2016

To Neuter or Not to Neuter

My husband and daughter were discussing who could be fiercer, him or me. 

My husband’s clincher: “Your mother’s bringing Tony to have his balls cut off – and she likes Tony.”

It’s true: Last week, I brought our new dog Tony to be neutered

Originally, I was going to write about how men do seem to feel some … ummm … resistance to the idea.

I’ve been surprised by the number of men I’ve met who don’t get their male dogs altered. Some owners will neuter but then have false balls implanted so the dog doesn’t look neutered. (Some wives will do that without telling their husbands.)

But in preparation for writing this blog post (after getting Tony fixed), I started Googling – and I fell into a wormhole.

All my life, I’ve heard that responsible pet owners neuter and spay their animals. Millions of unwanted animals are killed every year. Indeed, shelter euthanasia is the #1 cause of death for American companion animals.

But there are people against it. According to my Google surfing, these people tend to take their animals to holistic vets, feed them only raw food (which, and I’ve seen this myself, is a raging controversy), and are concerned about vaccinating.

The arguments rage. Some pro-neutering articles (like this one and this one) point out that the risk of certain cancers, which they say are deadly, are greatly reduced or eliminated by neutering. Anti-neuter people (including this vet and this vet) say those diseases aren’t deadly, but there are other deadly ones for which the risk goes up. Pro-neuter people point out that most dog bites are from unaltered animals; some anti-neuter people argue the opposite might be true.



  1. I've heard most of the arguments both pro and con. But I have to say any argument against neutering pales in comparison to the shock of having six beautiful Cocker Spaniel puppies ripped out of my arms and immediately put in the "gas chamber" at the shelter where I was volunteering years ago. The owners had brought in a litter of about eight two or three month old pups to the shelter that day to get rid of them. They had never had the mother spayed and probably wouldn't, even after this unfortunate litter. The shelter could find homes for maybe only two of them, so the rest had to be euthanized. I was sitting on the floor of the kennel with these sweet, scared puppies swarming all over me when the shelter workers came in and took away six of them to their deaths. I will never forget it. And I will ALWAYS advocate that people spay and neuter their pets to prevent such unnecessary deaths.

    Maybe Tony would never have accidentally gotten out and found another dog to mate with, but at least now you know the possibility of that is zero. I applaud you.

    Men need to understand that with dogs it's a biological urge, not something that the dog will miss and they definitely shouldn't equate it with THEIR own sex lives. All of our pets have been happier and healthier after they were neutered. Sorry this is so long, but it really struck a nerve with me, as you can probably tell.

    1. Oh, that's so awful and sad. I am glad we got both our dogs fixed. We were told Tony himself would have probably been euthanized within the day if he had ended up at the local pound.

    2. It used to make me livid to see "repeat offenders" bringing in yet another litter of unwanted puppies while still refusing to spay the mother. I would rather have gladly seen the owner go in the euthanasia chamber instead of the puppies.