To Spay Or Not To Spay, That Is The Question

This is Cookie, she is a 9 month old Papillon Chihuahua mix, (an educated guess since we don’t know what breed the dad was), whose mom was rescued by Yorkie911 Rescue Inc. while she was pregnant with Cookie and her siblings. 

So why am I introducing you to Cookie today? Well, Cookie has just been scheduled to have her spay surgery. You might be wondering, why is Cookie being spayed? Why should any female dog be spayed? 

A spay surgery prevents female dogs from getting pregnant by removing both the ovaries and the uterus. It’s not as simple as the neuter surgery the guys get, it is considered a major surgery even though your pup will only be affected for a few days, maybe a week. Of course, just like any surgery, there are risks during and after, but the benefits clearly outweigh them. 

A HUGE issue to consider in making a decision about whether or not to spay your female is realizing the number of existing dogs that are already out there in the world that are already having puppies, some with owners that weren’t even planning on it. There are so many homeless dogs, overcrowded shelters, and unnecessary euthanizations that occur on a daily basis. 

These issues alone are enough to make me want to spay my female dogs. Spaying reduces pet overpopulation. Millions of dogs are put down every year because there aren’t enough homes for them. 

Spaying your pup is also good for your community. Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the Country. Spaying packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets. 

Spaying helps your dog live a longer, healthier life. It reduces, or can eliminate, a number of health problems that are difficult and/or expensive to treat. 

Spaying reduces the risk of certain illnesses, such as pyometra (a common, life-threatening infection of the uterus) or mammary gland cancer. 

Spaying saves you from dealing with male dogs in your neighborhood or even in your household (if you rescue and foster like me) who are wildly attracted to your dog in heat. 

Spaying your female makes it so you don’t have to choose between a dog in sanitary pads or mess all over your house, as well as eliminates the rather unattractive, offensive odor often associated with a female in heat. Your nose may not be as sensitive as your dog’s, but even you can smell it! 

Unspayed female dogs go into heat about once every eight months and it can last for as long as three weeks each time. Dogs never go into menopause, and regularly go into heat for their entire lives unless they are spayed. 

Spaying makes your dog a better, more affectionate companion. Females that are not spayed often have more behavior and temperament problems than those that have.

While Cookie is just a puppy and has the appropriate puppy energy and behavior, she also exhibits what we call in this house “Cookie Monster” or “Devil Dog” behavior, where she is just a defiant and stubborn pup. She wants what she wants and no matter what we do or how we correct her she is extremely destructive! Here’s hoping the spay surgery calms her down a bit 😉 Either way we love her to pieces and always will! 

So in answer to my questions above, YES, you should have your female dog/dogs spayed. All the females in my home are spayed, and every rescued/fostered dog gets spayed too! The cost to spay or neuter your dog is relatively low if you consider all the benefits you and your pup will gain over her lifetime, as well as the satisfaction of knowing you are doing your part to prevent the birth of even more unwanted animals. 

Cookie is scheduled to be spayed on September 5, I will keep you updated on her progress. Cookies spay surgery will not be your standard Vet office one. She will be participating in an educational surgery. Cookie will be spayed as part of the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary Schools program. Vet students will watch and learn the procedure from the qualified surgeon. The students will be learning everything from A-Z including pre and post op procedures. Stay tuned here on Paws Give Me Purpose for updates on Cookie! 

Sources and further reading: 

http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/spaying-or-neutering-your-dog-faq  

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/spayneuter-your-pet 

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/your-dog-needs-to-be-spayed-or-neutered-right/