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Spaying and Neutering – Myths and Facts

Pet overpopulation is a problem worldwide. There are more dogs than homes available, and the number of canines increases daily. Homeless dogs suffer from starvation and disease. Yet, there is a simple solution to this serious problem. Spaying and neutering pet dogs would drastically affect overpopulation. To “spay” a female animal is to remove her ovaries. When a male dog is neutered, his testicles are removed. Unfortunately, this solution only works if people use it-and too many people have the wrong idea about spaying and neutering pets. Their understanding of spaying/neutering is based on myths. Here are the facts:

Myth: Spaying/neutering makes pets lazy so they get fat.

Truth: Removing her reproductive organs doesn’t affect your pet’s metabolism. If you feed her too much and/or don’t give her enough exercise, she will get fat. Whether your dog is spayed/neutered or not, you need to monitor her weight and control her food and exercise to keep her in top health.

Myth: Female dogs should have one litter before they are spayed.

Fact: Veterinary studies show that female dogs are actually healthier if they are spayed before they ever go into heat. If a female has even one litter, it increases her chances of developing cancer later in life.

Myth: It is cruel to put a dog through the pain and discomfort.

Fact: Dogs that are spayed and neutered have a much lower risk of painful, fatal cancers of the reproductive organs. Veterinarians have found that dogs spayed/neutered as puppies-as young as 8 weeks old-recover much more quickly and need less pain medication than older dogs.

Myth: Dogs become less protective of territory if spayed or neutered.

Fact: the biggest effect spaying/neutering has on a dog’s personality is that it becomes more predictable. The lack of hormones means your dog won’t tend to roam in search of a mate, and won’t go into erratic, aggressive fits. She will, however, still have a strong sense of territory and the desire to defend it from strangers.

Myth: Watching a female dog give birth is educational for children.

Fact: The chances of children actually witnessing the birth are very small since females seek privacy when they go into labor. Observing puppies develop is fascinating, but children experience great trauma and sadness when they have to give up the friends they’ve grown attached to over eight weeks.

Myth: Having a dog spayed/neutered is expensive.

Fact: the cost of the procedure depends on the size of your dog, since the amount of anesthesia needed is based on weight. If having a private practice veterinarian perform the operation is too expensive, check with local humane societies and other animal welfare groups. They often run low-cost spay/neuter clinics so that cost doesn’t contribute to the problem of pet overpopulation.


Dog Fleas

Dog fleas often carry tapeworms. If your pet has had a flea infestation, consider checking or treating him for tape worms.

The presence of just a few fleas can cause a severe allergic reaction in your pet characterized by severe itching and hair loss above the tail.

An adult flea mates shortly after emergence from their pupae and begins laying eggs within 36 hours. The female lays eggs on the host animal, but the eggs fall to the ground, carpet, sofa, dog bed, owner’s bed, or easy chair where they hatch in two-to-five days.

In her brief 50-day life span, a single female flea can lay more than 2000 eggs.

An adult flea can jump about 100 times its own height.

Female fleas need blood to complete their reproductive cycle. Baby fleas need blood to grow.

Fleas can be very hard to detect so look for flea “signs” instead of the fleas themselves. Flea dirt looks like sprinkled pepper on the dog. If you drop some of this “pepper” onto a damp paper towel and it turns reddish, it’s flea stool (dried blood.)


There is a plethora of flea control products today including monthly applications, sprays, dips, shampoos, collars and herbal products. It can be very difficult to determine what is right for your pet and your situation. To make matters even more complicated, many of today’s products can be dangerous if used together.

If you bath or dip your dog to kill fleas, many more remain in the home and yard your pet will be reinfested very quickly. Spraying and fogging the premise is expensive and time consuming and does not kill the eggs. The whole procedure must be repeated in 2 weeks.

I am not in the habit of recommending a single product, but in this case, I make an exception.

What I recommend to every dog owner is applying a flea, tick preventative and repellent to protect your pet from diseases such as heartworm, West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease. There are many such products found in stores but in my many years experience as a dog groomer, most of these are not effective. The only products that WE FIND work ALL THE TIME are the veterinary applications such as FRONTLINE PLUS and ADVANTAGE . For many years these were only available through your Veterinarian. You can now purchase these products without a prescription online saving you valuable time and money. The newest of these products is called ADVANTIX . This is the one we use and highly recommend. It not only kills fleas and ticks but also repels mosquitoes that can carry West Nile Virus.

The best part about using these products is you do not need to treat the home and yard. Most of the fleas die within 12 hours and any fleas in the area will die within a few days after jumping on your pet. Even in severe cases, you will see no fleas at all after 2 weeks.

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