For most people, pitbulls are a breed of dogs that are very aggressive in nature. At any moment, they will be going to attack people without signs or warnings. However, this perception remains a myth. In fact, compare to other breeds, pitbulls are actually less aggressive to people. This reduction in their aggressiveness is usually one of the benefits of neutering a pitbull which we can elaborate more as we go on.
Factors that make dogs aggressive
Dogs aggressiveness should not merely be based on its breed. Factors that usually affects the dogs’ behavior are tailored by the following:
- Reproductive status
- Early experience
- Socialization/ training
Studies show that unneutered male dogs are generally involved in more than 70 percent of all dog bite cases.
Compared to neutered dog, an unneutered male dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite.
97 percent of dogs involved in fatal attacks on people were not sprayed or neutered.
Based on the facts stated above, neutering a dog is a good help that affects their behavior. Aside from that, reducing the risk of your dogs’ potential testosterone-related issues is also one of the benefits of neutering a pitbull. Having to know these facts, may be one of the questions that keep running in your mind is “Should I neuter my pitbull?”
As a pet owner, it should be your sole decision and answer your own question of “Should I neuter my pitbull?” It is also part of your responsibility to keep your pitbull healthy. To help you decide and get more information about the benefits of neutering a pitbull, let us dig deeper and keep on reading further…
What is Neutering?
Neutering is generally a term that describes a surgical procedure involving the removal of testes, testicular blood vessels, and the spermatic ducts. In short, neutering is a procedure of removal of the reproductive organ of male dogs including the pitbulls. Another term for neutering is also known as castration.
Neutering is carried under general anesthesia. Since it is a surgical procedure, it also entails some risk. But worry less because there are modern techniques that are very safe. They may also be some discomforts for your pitbull. However, specific drugs can be given to control those discomforts.
After given an anesthesia, the scrotum of your pet is incised. Through that incision, the testicles are removed. Then the stalks connected to the testicles are cut. Most of the times, incisions need some stitches to close and easily heal.
Neutering a male pitbulls is usually done between 5 to 9 months of age. Remarkable benefits of neutering a pitbull at this age are increasing the safety of anesthesia concerns and surgery recovery time. A procedure like this done at this age reduces the testosterone before the onset of any bad behaviors.
Male pitbulls recover more quickly after neutering. And neutered male pitbulls are considered sterile after around an average of two to four weeks. At this point, it is important to separate a neutered male pitbull from any female counterparts in heat. Through this, you may ensure that pregnancy will not occur.
Still unable to answer your own question of “Should I neuter my pitbull?“, well, let us move on to the next topic and see what are the benefits of neutering a pitbull.
10 Benefits of Neutering your Pitbull
Neutering your pitbull buddy provide many good reasons. However, neutering makes your dog unable to reproduce and any behavior related to the breeding process. Below are the most commonly noticeable benefits of neutering your best bud.
1. Reduces the population of homeless pets
There was once a time when numbers of unwanted and stray animals are growing. Even local shelters are not enough to cater all those stray animals. Neutering your pitbulls may help to reduce the population as also increasing the available shelter for animals.
2. Reduces sexual behavior
Unneutered male pitbulls have the tendency to jump into other dogs. Although this behavior also comes out from neutered pitbulls, it shows that the reason behind this behavior just roots from over-excitement or lack of exercise. Also, the dog may not be trained properly that this is an unacceptable behavior. Aside from training, neutering may also help to reduce it.
3. Reduces the prevalence of cancer
If you are still asking yourself if “Should I neuter my pitbull“, well, listen to this! Neutering your pitbull reduces the chance of developing testicular cancer. A study shows that about 7% of unneutered male dog develop a testicular tumor.
4. Reduces other health issues
Aside from preventing cancer, there are also other beneficial health effects noticed in neutered dogs. This includes the decrease in the risk for diabetes, reduces prostate disorder, and also a reduction in perineal fistulas.
5. Improvement in overall behavior
One of the remarkable difference between neutered and unneutered pitbulls is the need to “roam“. Signs of this behavior is tunneling under fences and leaping over gates. Aggression is also reduced when your pitbull undergo neutering as this may also reduce dog bite incidents.
6. Eliminates the “mess factor“
Mating in a furry world is a messy thing. Aside from the release of male as it ejaculates, the female also experiences menstruation. As neutering reduces the testosterone level or reproductive hormones in pitbull’s system, the likelihood of mating may also be reduced.
7. Reduces the “marking territory“
Have you noticed, not only for pitbulls but all male dogs in general, that when they pee, they usually lift their leg? This gesture of male pitbulls is commonly known as the “marking territory” which is driven by the testosterone. Pitbulls, includes all dogs in general, have this perception of the higher they spray their urine, the more impressive they are to other dogs. Since, neutering reduces, but not totally eliminates, the amount of testosterone in the pitbulls body, leg-lifting is also reduced and become less noticeable.
8. Re-focus your dog’s attention
Unneutered male pitbulls and other dog breeds are always on the lookout for potential mates and rivals. This is the reason why most of the unneutered male dogs pay too much attention to other dogs. Through the process of neutering, it helps to break your dog’s over attention on other dogs. Thus, teach them to re-focus their attention on us as their pet owners.
9. Reduce sexual frustrations
There are studies that show that unneutered pitbulls have a higher tendency to be sexually frustrated. Neutered pitbulls do not when their pet owners do not allow them to mate. Since their testosterone level are reduced by neutering, their hormonal driven urges are not present. That’s why pitbulls tend to focus their attention on their human family aside from that reproduction stuff.
10. Saves money
Neutering procedure lets you spend money for the surgery itself. However, letting your male pitbull unneutered have the tendency to result in pregnancy during his encounter with a female counterpart. Pregnancy cost and taking care of those little puppies are more expensive compared to letting your pitbull undergo neutering.
The Risk of Neutering
Now, we already have an idea about the good things that neutering can offer to our buddy. It is time for us to know the risk that it can bring to our doggy. As responsible pet owners, we need to know all this before coming up with a decision if “Should I neuter my pitbull?”.
1. Triples the risk of obesity
Neutered pitbulls have the higher chance to become overweight. This happens even if they are given the same amount of food as before undergoing this procedure. Scientific reason behind this is the changes in hormonal set-up. Your pitbull doesn’t require as much food after neutering because hormonal changes also affect the metabolism.
But, remember, your pitbull’s obesity does not merely because of neutering. Pitbulls who are lazy has a higher tendency to gain fats easily. Better engaged your pitbull in light to moderate exercise.
2. Triples the risk of hypothyroidism
Reproductive hormones such as the testosterone play a role in the endocrine system. Reducing the testosterone level may result in low thyroid level. This causes weight gain that’s why it is also associated with obesity. Luckily, thyroid supplements can treat this.
3. Increase the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, and bone cancer
Again, testosterone of your pitbull also helps in the proper development of their bones and joints. Their leg bones have a higher tendency to grow uneven due to the decreased level of reproductive hormone. Due to this low level of testosterone, your pitbull has a 4 times risk of developing bone cancer.
4. Increase the risk of geriatric cognitive impairment
Just like the other risk of neutering that is caused by the reduction of testosterone, it is said that the reproductive hormone also plays a role in protecting the brain. Decrease level of testosterone can contribute to the development of dementia as your pitbull grows old.
5. It requires general anesthesia
About 20% of neuter procedures develop at least one of the following complications. This includes a bad reaction to anesthesia, infection, or abscess. Luckily, less than 5% of this are serious ones. And the death rate is only less than 1%.
Post-Neuter Care for your Pitbull
At the same day of the neutering procedure, your pitbull can also go home. After the surgery, when the anesthesia wears off, that pooch will eventually wake up. As the puppy wakes up, both the numbness and pain fade away. Minor pain medications are given for easy recovery and to prevent infection during the recovery period.
Your pitbull is allowed to eat and drink when they get home after the surgery. However, they can walk but requires monitoring. Moreover, to avoid the worsening of surgery, refrain in playing with your pitbull for a moment. After a week, your dog can resume his usual habits and the wounds should be healed.
Reasons why pet owners do not allow neutering
Despite the fact that neutering gives beneficial effects to your furry friend, still many pet owners do not want to do this procedure with their loveable pet. They have lots of excuses not to let their pets undergo this kind of surgery. Let us unleash those reasons one-by-one.
1. I want to be a pitbull breeder and make a profit.
As what we have discussed earlier, most pet owners love their pitbulls because of the breed. And breeding dogs to have another pooch like your fave pitbull is somehow expensive. This may be the reason why others take the opportunity of breeding dogs as a business.
There are rare cases that breeders earn from it and gain profits from it. On the other hand, this is not always the scenario. Breeders frequently lose their money when dogs suffer from those pregnancy complications.
2. My pet’s behavior will change after the surgery.
Neutering a pitbull really make any changes in your pet’s system. Thus, these changes are primarily for the better. Behavioral changes that you may notice to your best bud are their roaming behavior and aggressiveness. But, you don’t need to worry because they will still be your same loving buddy.
3. The results of the surgery make me worry.
Surgical procedures like neutering are commonly done daily. Vets usually perform this procedure routinely. So, there’s no place for worrying on the possible outcome of this surgery.
4. Neutering is expensive.
Taking care of a pitbull and considering him as your best buddy has lots of responsibility. As a responsible pet owner also comes a financial dedication. You are his owner and that you are accountable for his basic needs like proper nutrition and medical care.
5. My dog is a purebred
It doesn’t really matter if your dog is a purebred or not. Your pitbull’s breed does not exempt your doggy from landing in a shelter.
Now, we have learned and gained enough knowledge about neutering pitbulls. At this point, maybe you already have an answer to your question “Should I neuter my pitbull?”. But, as a pet owner, the decision is still in your hands if you would allow your pitbull pet to undergo neutering.
Remember to give your pitbull a thorough physical exam. It is very important to ensure that your pet is generally in good health before undergoing surgery. A blood test also helps to ensure that your dog has no underlying health issues.