Deciding to neuter the dog or not is a difficult decision for a dog owner. The most common reason for neutering the dog is to reduce the number of unwanted homeless dogs that have to be put to sleep every year. It is a dog owner’s responsibility to make sure that the pet would not contribute to the population of stray dogs.

To prevent reproduction, the testicles of the dog are surgically removed. Would you believe that neutering aside from minimizing the number of homeless dogs also promises to give the dog longer, healthier and happier life. Healthier – because a neutered dog will not be open to the risk of testicle cancer. The hormone level of a neutered dog is controlled thus bad behavior that is associated with mood swings will be controlled as well. Neutering decreases a male dog’s inclination to roam thus the possibility of accidents that can snuff the life of the pet will be lessened.

However, dog owners have many reservations on the right time to neuter the dog . Neutering has many unfounded beliefs. Many owners believe that if the dog is neutered at an early age the physical development as well as the personality of the dog will be affected.

The playful and affectionate nature are some of the reasons why most people would choose to have a dog for a pet thus many owners would not dare neuter the dog at an early age because of the belief that the procedure will make the pet less playful and affectionate. Dog experts refute the veracity of these beliefs. The dog’s personality and physical development will not be affected if the dog is neutered before it has attained puberty. When is the right time to have the pet neutered?

A dog can be neutered any time but ideally the procedure should be done before puberty. Considering the age of the pet would be rather hard if it was adopted from a shelter or if the dog that was adopted was a stray. A dog is never too old for neutering but dog experts tell us that the ideal age will be before the dog reaches sexual maturity as long as the testicles has fully descended. Small dog breeds attain full maturity at six months of age thus at this time a Shih Tzu or some breeds of terriers can already be neutered. Dog experts recommend neutering large breeds at about 1 year of age as Great Danes, GSD and other large dogs take longer to mature sexually.

Learn more about at what age your dog can be neutered as well as behaviour, health and dog first aid at Sarah’s Dogs.