My baby’s a big boy now, all 14 pounds of him. He’s 6 months old, and any minute now, he’s about to reach sexual maturity. Of course I’m talking about my youngest pup, Siam, supposedly a Toy Poodle, but more like a Miniature Poodle given his size. He’s grown ginormous the past couple of months, and as you can see in the photos, he now looks like the love child between Aslan and a Jigglypuff. The best time to neuter a male dog is right before sexual maturity so he doesn’t develop the habits that usually accompany this stage. Cairo, my Yorkie, got neutered a bit late, so even after the procedure, he never got rid of his territorial spraying or humping. Siam still pees like a girl so hopefully he doesn’t spray anymore.
Most people still cringe when I say I spay and neuter my pets. A lot still consider it cruel, when in fact vets and animal rights advocates mostly consider it the more “humane” way to go. I say mostly because of course there will be dissenting opinions, but generally, the widely accepted fact is that spaying and neutering is the way to go. Spayed and neutered animals generally live longer and healthier lives. Spaying a female dog also eliminates the messiness associated with the heat cycle. Neutering of male dogs and cats can prevent certain undesirable sexual behaviors, such as urine marking, humping, male aggression and the urge to roam. If you have more than one pet in your household, all the pets will generally get along better if they are neutered.
And of course there’s the problem of over-population. So many breeders already, no need to add any more. Too many dogs going to homes that are not necessarily prepared for a companion animal. So many dogs are bought by families, only to be given away or left tied in a corner after they prove “too hard to handle”. Once the cuteness of the puppies evolve into the more robust adult dogs, many families balk at the actual work that needs to be put in. So even if you have people in mind to give your future pups to, it’s no guarantee that they’ll have loving homes to go to.
Of course it goes without saying that I’m nevertheless a mess. Because although I advocate spaying and neutering, it’s still a surgical procedure and it’s not without its risks. So here I am, on pins and needles, hoping that there are no hitches and that the operation went well. I’m still waiting for the text from my vet saying the procedure is done, that Siam is healthy and well and that he is on his way home. I’ll post an update once I get news on how things went. Hang in there, Siam! Get well quick, so you can jump again all you want!
Here’s the PETA spay/neuter ad with Jane Lynch: