If you’re thinking of getting your Labrador neutered, than you need to know the pros and cons of the procedure. Neutering your Labrador has many advantages, but the disadvantages are just as prevalent. Neutering your dog can lower his risk of testicular cancer, but it may increase his risk of obesity as well.
What is Neutering?
Known as orchiectomy in the medical field, the neutering procedure is the surgical removal of a male dog’s testicles. Common lore refers to the procedure as, “fixing” a dog.
Neutering your Labrador Retriever has many health benefits. It inhibits poor behaviors like aggression and marking. Let’s not forget the disadvantages. Before neutering your Labrador, consider all the pros and cons first. Performing the procedure at the wrong age may cause growth problems for your Labrador Retriever.
Advantages of Having Your Labrador Neutered:
In general, Labrador Retrievers are not an aggressive breed of dogs. However, instances may occur when your dog displays food, sexual, or territorial aggression. Such behavior can quickly turn dangerous for children and strangers.
Neutering your Labrador Retriever will make him passive and calm. In male dogs, testosterone is an important factor for causing aggressive behavior. While the testicles produce the majority of this hormone, the adrenal glands secrete it in smaller quantities.
When neutering your Labrador, you’re removing the primary source of testosterone. This will suppress the primary factor that causes aggressive behavior. Differences in aggression are visible from 2 weeks to 6 months post-procedure.
Neutering your Labrador suppresses competitive behavior. Dogs mark territory in an effort to display territory ownership to the competition. Though having your Labrador neutered won’t prevent all mishaps on the furniture, it will deter him from territorial marking in the house.
Male dogs hump as a result of sexual tension or as a display of dominance. The humping behavior is testosterone driven. By having your Labrador neutered, you can prevent him from mounting and humping you, your guests, and other dogs.
Lowers Risk of Testicular-Induced Diseases
A neutered Labrador Retriever has a zero chance of developing testicular cancer. In neutering your Labrador also helps prevent the development of testicular trauma, testicular abscessation, epididymitis, testicular torsion, epidydimal cancer, and testicular inflammation.
Reduces Production of Inferior Genetic Abnormalities
All of our furry companions are beautiful, no matter what. However, neutering your Labrador will reduce the chance of passing on congenital abnormalities and diseases.
Labrador Retriever breeds don’t breed Labs for the money. Most of these dog breeders strive to develop the breed and make sure that the offspring are purebred and genetically sound. Responsible Labrador dog breeders screen their Labs for any potential hereditary issues. This allows breeders to know which dogs are fit for breeding and helps decrease the chance of producing Labs with genetic problems like hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy.
Reduces Stray Population
Neutering your Labrador Retriever doesn’t directly help stray dogs. It does however, prevent him from mating with potential female strays. Having your Labrador neutered and not contributing to the homeless dog population helps more than you know.
Disadvantages of Having Your Labrador Neutered:
Prone to Obesity
Neutered Labradors tend to have slower metabolic rates, which can cause doggy obesity. For maintaining a healthy weight, neutered dogs should consume about 25% less calories in comparison to dogs that are not neutered. So, if you’re thinking of neutering your Labrador, than you’ll need to change his diet.
Can’t Pass Desirable Genetics
Once your Labrador is neutered, there is no chance for breeding anymore. Any of your Lab’s desirable traits cannot by passed to offspring. But, if you don’t plan to breed, then there is no problem here.
Most veterinarians say that male dogs can be neutered as early as 6-9 months old. Bigger dogs, like Labradors, are recommended to wait until they are 2 years old or fully grown. The reasoning is in the important role that hormones play in the development of dogs’ bodies. Some veterinarians have reported that dog joint problems can develop in dogs who are neutered early as well.
Though neutering your Labrador Retriever has many advantages, there are many disadvantages that need consideration. As a Lab owner, it’s best to take time weighing the pros and cons before making a final decision.