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Why Should I Neuter My New Puppy?

Posted March 18, 2015 in Dog Surgery A-Z

German Shephard dog puppy

Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a traveling, board-certified surgeon in Allentown, PA. His website is He is the co-author of “Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound” (

Kelly Serfas, a Certified Veterinary Technician in Bethlehem, PA, contributed to this article.

During a “puppy visit,” your veterinarian is likely to discuss vaccinations, heartworm prevention, deworming and neutering. Are you aware of the main reasons to neuter a puppy?

Definition of “neuter”
Neutering or castration is the removal of both testicles. Occasionally, one or both testicles may be “retained” or “undescended” in a cryptorchid dog. Testicles that stayed in the belly should be removed to prevent testicular torsion (a painful condition where a testicle twists on itself) or even testicular cancer (the risk of this condition is much higher when a testicle stays inside the belly). Neutering a puppy, which requires taking certain precautions while under anesthesia, is considered safer than neutering an adult, because puppies tend to bounce back quicker. I recommend neutering puppies before 6 months of age.

Why do many hesitate to neuter?
Some dog gaurdians, especially guys, have an issue with neutering their dogs. This is a very touchy topic, which likely has to do with basic psychology: “Neutering my dog is like castrating me.” This is an unfortunate misconception which has harmed many dogs. Neutering a dog does not turn him into a wimp. He will still have male characteristics, will pee like a male and behave like a male. The main difference is that he won’t get in trouble by being attracted to females.

Neutering to help prevent aggression
Neutered dogs tend to be less aggressive and less defensive. This may be important if you have children and other pets. It also will make your life easier if you like to visit the local dog park.

Neutering to help prevent roaming
Intact males are more likely to wander around, get hit by a car, end up lost or get into a fight. They can smell a female in heat miles away and sometimes will do anything to check her out—or worse. This can lead to countless undesirable encounters.

Neutering to help prevent population problems
Neutering will prevent your dog from bringing more puppies into the world. In addition, unless your dog is a perfect representative of the breed, there is a possibility of spreading genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia, cardiac diseases and eye conditions.

Neutering to help prevent mounting
Mounting females—or the nice guests you invited for dinner—can lead to rather embarrassing situations. Prevention is easy: neuter your puppy, which virtually eliminates the awkward behavior.

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Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a board-certified veterinary surgeon and author. His traveling practice takes him all over Eastern Pennsylvania and Western New Jersey. You can visit his website at, and follow him at