Are you thinking of having your Labrador neutered? Neutering your Labrador can be a pretty scary thought but it does have a lot of benefits.
What is Neutering?
Neutering is medically known as orchiectomy. This procedure is the surgical removal of the testicles of a male dog. It is sometimes called sterilization, castration, or “fixing
Neutering you Labrador has so many health benefits but aside from that, it can stop your Labrador from doing unwanted behaviors such as marking and aggression. However, it also has its disadvantages so we are here we’ll lay out the pros and cons of neutering your Labrador to help you decide whether you should or should not have your Lab’s balls removed.
Benefits of Having Your Labrador Neutered
Calms Aggressive Dogs
Aggressive Labradors are very rare but they do exist. If your Labrador is aggressive, then neutering will help him become more calm and passive. Testosterone in male dogs is produced in the testes or testicles and the adrenal glands in small quantities. This hormone can cause aggression soby neutering your Labrador, you are removing the main source of testosterone in his body. The difference in aggression can be seen within 2 weeks to six months after the procedure.
Stops the Marking
Again, the testosterone in your Labrador’s body urges him to compete with other male dogs and mark his territory.While neutering will not fully stop your Labrador from lifting his leg on your furniture, it should deter him from marking.
Less or Zero Humping
Humping is a display of dominance or sexual tension. This behavior is also caused by testosterone. By neutering your Labrador, you can stop him from humping and mounting on you, your visitors, and your other dogs.
Lowers Risk of Testicular Cancer and other Testosterone-Induced Diseases
Well, if your Labrador does not have testicles, then he won’t suffer testicular cancer. But aside from preventing testicular cancer, neutering your Labrador can also prevent him from developing testicular inflammation, epidydimal cancer, testicular torsion, epididymitis, testicular abscessation, testicular trauma, and more.
Reduce Chances of Producing Inferior Genetic Traits and Abnormalities
All dogs are beautiful no matter what they look like. But we have the choice to reduce the chance of producing puppies with congenital diseases and abnormalities.
Breeders do not breed Labradors for the sake of money. Most of them are passionate about developing the breed and making sure the offspring they produce are free from genetic problems. Responsible breeders have the dogs under their care health-screened. By doing this, they will know which dogs are good for breeding to lessen the chance of producing dogs that may develop Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and more.
Reducing Stray Population
While neutering your Labrador does not directly help stray dogs, it does prevent him from accidentally impregnating strays. With the growing population of homeless dogs and the thousands who die in shelters simply because they are not adopted, neutering your Labrador and not contributing to the increase in dog population is a big help.
Disadvantages of Neutering Your Labrador
High Tendency to Become Obese
Neutering your Labrador can slow down his metabolic rate and thus, can make him obese. Studies have shown that to maintain healthy weight, neutered animals only need around 25% fewer calories compared to intact animals. This means that if you are thinking of neutering your Labrador, then you must adjust his diet as well.
Inability to Pass On Desirable Genetic Trait
Once you have your Labrador neutered, then he cannot breed anymore. This means that whatever desirable trait your Labrador has, he can no longer pass it. But if you do not really have plans to breed, then this is not a problem.
Some veterinarians say male dogs can neutered as early as they turn 6 to 9 months-old. For big dogs like Labradors, some veterinarians recommend waiting until the dog reaches 2 years of age or until he or she is fully grown. The reason behind this is that, hormones play a vital role in the development and growth of dogs’ bodies. Some veterinarians report joint problems in dogs who were neutered early. In fact, a study led by Professor Emeritus Benjamin Hart in the University of California-Davis found that early neutering can cause health problems in German Shepherds. The same group of researchers is planning to conduct the same study on Labrador Retrievers.
While neutering your Labrador has its benefits, there is a downside to it too. It is best to weigh down the pros and cons of neutering before coming up with a decision.