Signs Your Dog Needs To Be Neutered s - My Pet Command

Signs Your Dog Needs To Be Neutered s

Posted by Deepak Rawat on

Signs your dog needs to be neutered are essential for responsible dog owners to identify.

Dog neutering, also known as removing the testicles, is a surgical procedure usually done by qualified, trained, and licensed veterinary professionals. This procedure is also recommended by animal welfare organizations to remove a male dog's testicles to prevent overpopulation, certain reproductive-related health issues such as canine prostate diseases and testicular cancer, and, lastly, to reduce mating instinct behaviors.

With signs like aggressive behaviors, excessive marking inside the house, and continuous fights with other male dogs, pet parents can decide when their dog needs to be neutered.

Always refer to sources like the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the ASPCA, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for surgical procedures, implications for canine health, and the significance of responsible pet ownership.

Signs Your Dog Needs To Be Neutered

Recognize signs that your male dog needs to be nurtured. Here are seven indicators:

  1. Aggressive Behavior Towards Other Dogs and Humans: For male dogs, aggression is the most common sign showing that it might be time to neuter your dog. Note that aggression causes fights and injuries if not managed correctly. However, neutering can reduce this aggression, making social interactions peaceful for everyone.
  2. Excessive Urine Marking Inside the House: Unneutered male dogs often mark their territory by urinating in different indoor places. This behavior is unsanitary and can be challenging for pet owners. Luckily, neutering can significantly decrease urine marking behaviors or stop them altogether.
  3. Regular Attempts to Escape and Find Mates (Roaming): Intact male dogs are hormonally motivated to roam to find mates, food, or social contact. This, however, increases the risk of accidents or getting lost. Neutering, in this case, reduces the urge to roam and ensures safety at home.
  4. Mounting Behavior: Mounting or humping humans, objects, female dogs, and other animals is another inappropriate sign that it may be time to neuter your intact male dog. It's also an indicator of hormonal and behavioral issues that can be addressed by neutering.
  5. Excessive Dominance or Possessive Displays: Displays of dominance, such as growling, snapping, and excessive barking toward other pets or family members, can cause tension. Neutering, however, helps moderate these behaviors by reducing testosterone levels in male dogs.
  6. Howling, Barking, or Baying Uncontrollably: Often unnoticed by many, continuous howling, baying, or barking, especially at night, can indicate sexual frustration in unneutered male dogs. Neutering can help calm these vocalizations by diminishing their mating drive.
  7. Hyperactivity, Impulsivity, and Inattention: If your unneutered male dog becomes astonishingly hyperactive or unable to focus, it could be due to hormonal surges. So, neutering can ensure a calm demeanor for better training focus and household harmony.

Benefits of Neutering a Dog

While neutering a dog may seem unnecessary to some pet parents, this procedure has numerous benefits for the dog and its owner.

Here are the most common benefits of neutering a dog and how it affects behavior, health, and overall well-being.

  1. Reduce the Risk of Health Problems

Removing a male dog’s testicles can help prevent testicular cancer, which is common in unneutered male dogs. It will also reduce the risk of prostate problems such as prostatitis, perianal tumors, perineal hernias, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlargement. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), neutering can prevent up to 90% of testicular cancer cases in dogs because, without testosterone, there is no source of fuel for cancer to develop.

  1. Decrease Roaming or Wandering

Male dogs have a natural roaming or wandering instinct in search of potential mates. This behavior can lead them to get lost, injured, and unwanted breeding with stray dogs. Neutering decreases this roaming tendency and helps keep your dog safe.

  1. Helps Manage Testosterone Levels and Improve Behavioral Issues:

Testosterone is the primary male hormone responsible for behaviors such as aggression, dominance, roaming, and urine marking. In addition, male dogs reach sexual maturity between six and twelve months, experiencing hormonal surges that can cause behavioral changes. 

So, you can reduce testosterone levels after neutering an overly aggressive or territorial dog, leading to a calmer and more obedient pet towards other animals, pets, or humans.

  1. Saves Cost

While the cost of neutering a dog varies with your location, it can save you money because unneutered male dogs risk injuries or illnesses related to their reproductive organs. This can reduce costly veterinary vaccinations, food, or finding homes for the puppies.

  1. Helps Control Overpopulation of Stray Animals

According to ASPCA, millions of dogs end up in shelters every year, and many are euthanized due to lack of homes. By neutering a dog, you prevent unwanted pregnancies and help reduce the number of homeless animals in the neighborhood.

Warning Signs After Dog Neutering

As a responsible pet owner, always monitor a neutered dog’s warning signs or any complications that may arise during recovery.

Here are some common warning signs to watch out for:

- Excessive Bleeding: It is normal to notice slight bleeding immediately after surgery. However, continuous bleeding can indicate issues with the surgical area or an adverse reaction to the neutering procedure.

- Swelling or Persistent Redness at the Incision Site: Some swelling, redness, or inflammation is expected at the incision site. However, if the area around the incision becomes excessively swollen or hard, it could be a sign of a surgical infection or other adverse complications. Look out for any changes in appearance, and contact your veterinarian if you notice anything unusual.

- Lethargy: It is normal for dogs to feel sleepy or become inactive immediately after surgery. This is because of the induced anesthesia during treatment. However, if your dog remains unusually lethargic for more than 24 hours after surgery, this could indicate the dog is in pain or reacting to the medication.

- Loss of Appetite: Decreased appetite can often occur immediately after surgery. However, loss of appetite for more than a day can indicate post-operation concern due to pain or nausea from anesthesia, among other complications.

- Diarrhea or Vomiting: Medication or stress can occasionally cause soft stools or vomiting. On the contrary, continuous vomiting or diarrhea—especially if it is bloody—needs to be treated immediately because they can be signs of an infection, internal problems, or medication side effects.

- Difficulty Urinating or Defecating: These symptoms may indicate obstructions in the urinary tract, constipation from the anesthesia or surgery, or urinary tract problems. So, check if your dog has trouble urinating or isn't urinating at all, and consult with your veterinarian for a thorough assessment if there are changes in the color or consistency of their waste.

- Prolonged Pain or Discomfort: Although some soreness is normal after surgery, persistent lethargic behavior, agitation, aggression, or restlessness can be indicators that your dog's pain is not being properly treated.

- Excessive Licking or Chewing: If your dog is licking or chewing at the incision site constantly, it could indicate discomfort, irritation, or infection. While some licking is normal during the healing process, excessive attention to the area may indicate veterinary check-ups.

- Discharge: Any discharge from the incision site, such as pus or blood, should be addressed immediately by a veterinarian to prevent further issues. Discharge can indicate infection or other complications that require medical attention.

Visit the Animal Humane Society and Spay Neuter Network for more information on post-operative care and potential complications.


Dog owners play a vital role in safeguarding their pets' health by staying informed about the benefits of neutering. Besides stopping undesired reproductive behaviors, neutering lowers the chance of developing certain illnesses, such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer. In addition, neutering can reduce behavioral problems like roaming and running away in search of a partner, making the community and the dogs safer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to get a dog neutered?

The cost of neutering a dog varies depending on the dog's age, size, location, and other additional veterinary services. However, the average cost can range from $50 to over $350. In addition, larger dogs cost more than smaller ones due to factors like anesthesia and surgical supplies.

Where can I get my dog neutered for free?

In Miami, the Miami Veterinary Foundation Spay or Neuter Program (MVF) offers free vaccinations, ear tips, and sterilization. Other free dog neutering options include pets adopted from animal shelters or rescue organizations, local humane societies, nonprofit organizations such as the ASPCA, veterinary schools, and a few local government agencies or animal control departments. However, these programs can vary depending on location. 

What are the benefits of neutering a dog?

As discussed earlier, neutering a dog helps reduce pet overpopulation, prevent certain reproductive-related health issues, help reduce mating instinct behaviors, and decrease roaming accidents.

Does neutering a dog calm them down?

Neutering often impacts a dog's behavior. However, neutering is not a guaranteed solution for all behavioral issues because it varies depending on the dog's age, breed, temperament, and the specific behaviors being addressed. Some behaviors, such as aggression and dominance, may be influenced by training, socialization, and environmental enrichment.

What are the signs of infection after neutering a dog?

Reduced appetite, sluggishness, fever, pus-filled, bloody, or odorous discharge from the site of the incision, redness, and warmth around the surgical site, and excruciating pain and discomfort that persists past the initial healing phase.

How long after neutering a dog is testosterone gone?

Generally, it takes several weeks to a few months (6-8 weeks) for testosterone levels to decline to the point where noticeable behavioral and physiological changes occur. Nonetheless, the precise period varies with the dog's age, breed, and metabolism.

Can a neutered dog still mate?

Sure. Not all sexual behaviors or mating instincts are eliminated by neutering. While some neutered dogs may still engage in activities like mounting or mating attempts, these actions are less common and less intense than in intact male dogs.

Will neutering a dog help with aggression?

Yes, neutering can reduce the influence of testosterone, which may help reduce aggressive behaviors related to territoriality, dominance, sexual aggression, and fear.

When is it too late to neuter a dog?

There is no specific age limit for neutering a dog. However, the procedure should be done before they reach sexual maturity to maximize the health and behavioral benefits.

What is the best age to neuter a male dog?

The ideal time to neuter a male dog varies based on the breed, size, and specific pet’s health needs. However, according to the American Kennel Club, male dogs should be neutered between 6 and 9 months. Additionally, some vets might advise against neutering a dog until it is closer to skeletal maturity to reduce the risk of hip dysplasia and other orthopedic problems.

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