Canine castration, myths and truths

If there is a topic within the canine world in which diverse opinions circulate, it is regarding canine neutering and spaying. In this article we will answer a large number of unknowns that circulate regarding neutering and spaying and we will solve several myths that people take as true. If you have a dog or a female dog and you are thinking about neutering or spaying her or have already done so, this article will help you a lot.

What is canine castration?

Both canine castration and that of any other domestic animal, is a surgical technique that consists of the extraction of the sexual organs that allow the animals to reproduce. By neutering our pets, we cause the sterilization of our animals, thus preventing them from reproducing and significantly reducing the production of hormones that are generated through the extracted sexual organs (testosterone and estrogens). In males, canine castration is based on removal, also known as removal of the testicles through surgery. This practice is known as (orchiectomy). It is a simple procedure that involves general anesthesia in the dog to then be able to make an incision in the scrotal sac and proceed to the removal of both testicles leaving its scrotal sac intact.

Advantages of castration

When castration is carried out on a dog or any other animal, we achieve that the sexual impulse of these is inhibited as the main effect. Also, this practice prevents conflicts that are linked to the great influence that male hormones have. This will result in the socialization of the animal being much easier to occur with other pets, mainly of the same sex.

Other advantages of canine castration is that it eliminates any possibility in the dog of contracting testicular cancer and causes a great reduction in prostate diseases that are very common and quite serious in adult dogs.

On the female side, castration occurs through surgery that can be performed in two different ways. The first of all involves removing the ovaries of our bitch through an incision in the abdominal area of the dog, this technique is known as oophorectomy. The second method, known as ovariohysterectomy, involves the removal of both the uterus and the ovaries of the bitch. Castration in bitches reduces breast cancer, as well as reduces the likelihood of tumors developing in the reproductive organs and stops the production of hormones.

What is sterilization?

Sterilization is a surgical method that is much less invasive than castration and involves making a cut in the seminiferous tubules. The seminiferous tubules are the tubes that connect our dog's penis with the testicles.

Advantages of sterilization

We will see the first advantage of sterilizing our dogs in the recovery period. When we proceed to sterilize our dog, the recovery period is noticeably faster. Another of the positive factors of this methodology is that the probabilities that our pet suffers from prostate diseases, decrease considerably. Likewise, we must clarify that the sexual impulse and therefore the production of hormones will continue to occur so that the behavior of the dog with other animals will not have any modification.

Sterilization in females consists of tying the fallopian tubes which are the ducts of the ovary of our bitch. Although it is a much less invasive surgery than castration and its recovery for this reason is much faster, the same happens with the dog, its behavior and hormone production does not suffer any decrease, in addition the bitch will continue to have heat cycles. As for the advantages, it will reduce the possibility that our dog will get sick from the uterus, the ovary or have a tumor in the breast.

What is more advisable, neutering or sterilizing my dog?

There is no method that is better than another. Before making a decision about neutering or sterilizing our pets, we must evaluate certain aspects to make the right decision and that is most convenient for our companion animals. We must take their behavior into account before doing the practice. If our pet is aggressive or dominant or even tends to run away when in heat, the best thing to do is to castrate it. On the other hand, if our pet is calm, it does not tend to be dominant with other animals or to flee in its stage of jealousy, the most advisable thing is to opt for a sterilization.

Scarring after spaying or neutering our dog

The recovery of the dog is much faster than that of the bitches. To begin, both of you will have to cope with the effects of the anesthesia that can take 24 to 30 hours to completely go away. We will notice that when our puppies first arrive home they will be a bit stunned but this is normal due to the general anesthesia they receive before the operation.

The points must be withdrawn after 15 days from the operation. We will note that 10 days after having undergone the surgery, our dogs will be in perfect condition but it is important during this period to be careful that the stitches do not come out and the operation wound does not become infected. What can cause more discomfort to our dogs is the swelling of the area that should not last more than a week.

In the bitch the recovery period can take between 10 days and two weeks. These are the recovery periods, as long as the correct care is taken on the animal. The first 24 hours are the most important and delicate since our dog is under the effects of anesthesia. After those 24 hours, it is essential to monitor it so that it does not scratch the wound or make sudden movements that may affect it. The control that we must do is over their rest, their diet, their excrements and their wound (preventing it from becoming infected and healing normally).

castración canina

What are the care after neutering or spaying my dog?

Both castration and sterilization, once carried out, it is necessary to have a series of care so that our dog recovers correctly and quickly.

  • Avoid the efforts of the dog: Our dog has been subjected to the effect of strong anesthesia to be able to perform the operation. The time that the anesthesia lasts is approximately 24, 30 hours, once this time has passed we must avoid excessive efforts such as climbing stairs, playing roughly or running for at least the first two or three days.
  • Ensure a comfortable rest area: With cushions, a mattress or blankets we must guarantee an area where you can rest and of course is as clean as possible to avoid infection in the wound.
  • Light feeding: We must make sure that our puppy does not eat a lot of food and that what he eats is not too heavy. It is normal if you vomit from time to time and it is also common for you to have a poor appetite.
  • Caring for the wound: Do not remove the bandages ahead of time, keep the area clean, prevent the animal from trying to lick or scratch it, make sure that our dog or other household pets do not get it dirty. It is a good option to put an Elizabethan collar on our puppy to prevent it from complicating the area. It is very important that we follow the recommendations that our veterinarian gives us to the letter.

When should a male dog be neutered?

It is proven that the ideal age to neuter a male dog is when it reaches sexual maturity. Historically it was recommended that the male should be castrated between nine and twelve months of age. However, recent studies have shown otherwise.

It is the "ideal" to wait for our dog to reach sexual maturity to neuter him because we give him the right time to develop and fully mature sexually.

It is not advisable to coat a dog less than nine months old, or a dog that has reached adulthood for more than 7 years of life.

When should the female be castrated?

The females usually mature before the males. It is not necessary to wait until they reach the year and a half of life that is recommended in dogs, although it is advisable to wait until they overcome their first menstrual cycle or heat.

Once this stage is over, it can be said that we are in a position to castrate our dog to prevent her from becoming pregnant and to avoid some diseases such as cancers.

What are the differences between canine neutering and spaying?

Neutering involves removing the male dog's testicles, while spaying is like vasectomy in humans. This last process consists of suppressing your sperm through chemical sterilization or through a knot in your duct.

In females it is different than in males since spaying and neutering could be said to be the same since the process involves emptying it.

Does neutering my dog have consequences?

The most frequent risks of neutering or sterilization that occur in our pets are those related to wound infections. Possible problems that are more than avoidable if we have the corresponding precautions.

On the other hand, there are those who say that neutering or sterilizing an animal causes them problems. Hypothyroidism problems, fattening and even losing their vigilance instinct. The last two are myths that we will tear down later. Regarding the increased risk of hypothyroidism, it is something that is not scientifically proven. It is also appropriate that we mention it as one of its possible disadvantages.

esterilización y castración canina

How many hours of fasting should my dog have before being neutered or spayed?

The fast that our dogs must have is the same for both males and females. It is recommended that our dogs go with twelve hours of fasting from solids, that is, from any food and five hours of fasting from liquids.

At the same time, the animal must be carried while healthy. This means that you do not have vomiting, diarrhea, or any other health complications.


Before going fully to the myths that circulate about canine castration and refuting them, it is necessary to make an introduction to the subject by commenting on castration. These myths are applicable to both the castration of dogs and cats.

In the world today, there are so many pets, mostly dogs, that man would be unable to care for them in a corresponding way both economically and emotionally.

There is a tendency in the population to think that human beings are the responsible guardians of both dogs and cats. And everything our pets do will always weigh on our shoulders.

Many people make the decision not to neuter their animals. The reasons are various: because later they get fat, because they lose their guardian instinct, because "poor thing, he better have a baby" or "we should all be able to have a child" or also, because some consider that doing it is a mutilation that is done to the animal. Although not many like it, the result that ends up generating this practice and philosophy of not castrating our housemates is much sadder than what they suppose. Abuse, hunger, abandonment and desolation. This is the unfortunate result of not neutering our pets.

Not performing castration on animals, allows thousands and thousands of puppies to reach the world that will be raised starving for food, wandering through the cities or on the side of the road, without someone to caress them and give them a little love. In short, most of them will be doomed to live long or short, and devoid of happiness.

An early castration in canine females in addition to not making the bitch fat, if we take proper care of her, but almost entirely prevents mammary tumors. So if we want her, we should castrate her. If we consider her part of our family and we want to prevent her from getting sick, we must.

A dog is dependent. You need our resources for your primary care, for your food and to satisfy all your basic needs. In addition, and it is something that we all must take into account before adopting any animal, it not only requires our financial resources, it also needs our time.

It is something horrible, but it has become common in many countries, especially Spanish-speaking countries, to find a huge number of dogs on the streets. By this I mean semi-domiciled dogs, dogs that have a home but are running loose on the street as if they didn't have one. And why does this happen? Because they are victims of indifference and human irresponsibility.

In the neighborhood, without the close look of his owner, we can see him running and even happy but unaware that his fecal matter could be the cause of disease transmission, slipping and lack of urban hygiene. Nor will you understand the danger of a dog crossing a street or avenue. Little will he understand about the probable traffic accidents that partial abandonment, by his irresponsible human being, can generate. They will not be aware of the fights they will have to sustain to defend the territory and the hierarchy behind the back of their irresponsible owner.

To this we add the action of Cupid or falling in love, which for dogs also exists in the form of the heat of female dogs twice a year. As the testicles and ovaries accompany these stray dogs, unwanted puppies will appear months later that will exponentially multiply community damage, which without the slightest canine responsibility occurs.

So let's break the canine castration myths and be really responsible; We are going to mention each of these myths and explain them briefly to clear up all kinds of doubts.

Canine castration makes you fat

FALSE. No. Canine castration is not fattening. What makes an animal fat is feeding it improperly. When we refer to inadequate nutrition we are not only talking about quantities, but also about the quality of the food that we provide to our dog. If we castrate our dog and sustain the quantity and quality of food necessary for both the age and the type of dog, our dog will not get fat. If we add to this providing our pet the appropriate exercise, our dog will be more than sure that it will be at its corresponding weight. Whether or not he is neutered.

Canine castration makes male dogs less guardians

FALSE. The guard instinct, the defense of the territory and the alertness that a male dog has is not located in the testicles. Therefore neutering him will not make him better or worse guard dog. The defense and vigilance qualities of a dog are located in the genetic patterns of behavior. These excuses are very frequent in dog owners like the Doberman or the German Sheepdogs among others. You can castrate your calm male dog, he will not lose his guardian instinct.

If I had children, dogs would have to have too. It's unfair to my dog or bitch!

FALSE. This is the one that irritates me the most. I'm going to tell you why. Generally, and I say it from experience, those who argue in this way are those who make a purebred dog breed to sell them, and in the case of non-breed dogs, to give them away. In the best of cases, they keep one puppy and the rest are given to other families. Let's see, first of all dogs are not culturally aware of a reproductive legacy, therefore the argument is already wrong. Second, dogs once they have a young, like all mammals, become attached to it, defend it and love it. Taking them out to give away or sell is the worst act of torture we can do to them. Both the mother and the father of the cubs.

To castrate them is to mutilate them. You have to leave them as they come into the world.

FALSE. It is the bad habit of humanizing our dogs. We must not humanize our dogs, or any other animal. Uncontrolled reproduction is responsible for many problems and mistreatment in the animal world. This is solved in only one way and it is with ethical and responsible control through castration and education.

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