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Healthy Dogs

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Spaying or Neutering Your Dog FAQ

WebMD veterinary experts answer commonly asked questions about spaying or neutering your dog.


A: There are a lot of low-cost options all over the country. We have a low-cost spay/neuter clinic in the Atlanta area and we spay dogs for as little as $70. The ASPCA keeps a database of low-cost options on its web site. You can put in your zip code, and it will give you all your options within a certain radius. Click on the “pet care” tab and look for the low-cost and free spay/neuter database.


Q: Don’t dogs get fat once you spay or neuter them?

A: Dogs, just like people, get fat when they eat too much and don’t get enough exercise. And that’s something you can control. You can use portion control and take your dog for a walk.


Q: My dog is a guard dog. If I spay or neuter him, will that stop him from protecting my house?

A: Spaying or neutering is not going to affect your dog’s desire or ability to protect your home or protect you. Guard dogs are trained to be guard dogs. Their behavior is a function of genetics or instinct, environment, and training.

Many, many police canine units spay or neuter their dogs. There’s no correlation between spaying or neutering an animal and its ability to protect you.

But people also need to understand that unless their dog has been trained to be a guard dog, it isn’t a guard dog. Most dogs are naturally protective, but if you truly need a dog for protection, and your dog isn’t trained, you’re at risk.


Q: Will my dog stop running away from home if I neuter him?

A: Well, you really should keep your dog confined. But neutering certainly does decrease the instinct to roam. That’s because unneutered dogs are constantly seeking to match up with unspayed females. It also will decrease your dog’s urge to escape your home or escape your fence. But in this day and age, there’s no reason to allow a dog to freely roam the streets. It’s dangerous.

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