Why spaying or neutering your dog benefits the planet

Why spaying or neutering your dog benefits the planet

If you Google (or preferably Ecosia) “Spaying or neutering your dog,” A LOT of articles will come up about the benefits and reasonings behind getting your pup “fixed” ASAP. So instead of making another blog post about the already-covered reasons why you should fix your dog, we wanted to create a list of reasons that specifically highlight why spaying or neutering your dog benefits the planet.

But, first, what do the terms spaying and neutering mean?

  • Spaying removes a female dog’s uterus and ovaries through a veterinarian’s surgical incision in the abdomen. 
  • Neutering removes a male dog’s testes through a surgical incision made in front of the scrotum by a veterinarian.

Now that you know the definitions, let’s move on to some key reasons why a spayed or neutered dog is more environmentally friendly and how it benefits the planet.

Why Overpopulation Is A Big Problem

One of the core reasons why dogs are environmentally UNfriendly is due to overpopulation. But the overpopulation of dogs (and cats) can be rectified simply by spaying or neutering your pet! Here’s why. 

While there are many other beneficial reasons behind spaying or neutering your pup, the main priority is to prevent unwanted litters. Don’t get us wrong, puppies are adorable, but when female dogs birth an average of 4-6 (sometimes more) puppies a litter, the dog population can get out of control fast.

The United States, in particular, sees an estimated 7 million homeless dogs and cats enter animal shelters every year. Only half of these animals are ever adopted, while the rest get euthanized --and these numbers need to change!

Unfortunately, most shelter dogs were originally puppies from unplanned and unwanted litters. The rest are often unspayed or unneutered dogs roaming the streets. In fact, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, only 10% of dogs that end up in animal shelters are spayed or neutered. 

The overpopulation of dogs has put a strain on many animal shelters in the United States. Meaning that any “additional” dogs found on the streets or in puppy mills have a small probability of being adopted and an even smaller chance of living; simply because there aren’t enough shelters or funding to house and care for all of these animals. 

Additionally, sheltering and euthanizing homeless animals requires numerous materials and resources that many shelters don’t have access to or enough of. But with a better handle on the unwanted animal population (AKA a reduction in the population through spaying and neutering), not only can we rehome and care for more unfortunate pups, but we can also redirect these resources to more positive initiatives. 

Spaying and neutering your dog can help reduce the homeless pet population and the stemming issues within your community and beyond.

Stray Dogs Harm Native Wildlife

Due to the overpopulation of animals and the inevitable homelessness that results from this issue, many repercussions result from stray animals roaming around unchecked.

Unfortunately, “when a non-native species overtake an area, it can negatively impact delicate ecosystems in the area.

Usually, most stray dogs aren’t vaccinated, meaning the transmission of rabies and other similar diseases can get transferred to other animal populations, including wildlife. Internal parasites are also easily transmissible between animal and human populations through fecal matter contaminating food and water sources. 

In addition, stray dogs can prey on wildlife and damage local fauna. Not surprisingly, an alarming number of birds (and other wild animals) are being killed by free-roaming dogs and cats. While many are due to pet-owned animals being allowed to roam their neighborhood freely, we can’t deny that homeless dogs and cats also contribute to this conservation issue. Dogs, in particular, have been linked to killing birds, small animals like chickens, and larger animals, including sheep and goats.

Feral Dogs Impact Your Community

Funding shortages of animal shelters mean there is limited capacity to accept unwanted dogs, which is why so many sweet pups end up on the streets. Similar to the point above, spaying and neutering eliminate reproduction possibilities, which, in turn, reduces the number of dogs roaming the streets.

Due to their often desperate situations, stray dogs can also pose challenges to communities if they develop behavioral or aggression issues, which can occur after living in a dog-eat-dog world with little companionship.

So What Can You Do?

  1. Spay or neuter your pet!  
  2. Adopt your next pet from the shelter (and make space for the next needy pup!) We talk more about adopting vs. breeding your next dog here.
  3. Donate or volunteer time to local Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) efforts
  4. Spread the word about the importance of spaying or neutering your dog
  5. Avoid letting your dog roam the neighborhood freely

Additional Reasons To Spay and Neuter Your Dog

  1. It costs less to spay/neuter one dog than to have and care for a pregnant mom and a litter of puppies.
  2. The numerous health benefits of spaying or neutering your dog include preventing fatal diseases or infections involving the reproductive system, such as pyometra (females) and testicular tumors (males).

We highly recommend spaying or neutering your dog for all the reasons given above (and more). The entire world is combatting an over-population of unwanted animals, most especially dogs, and avoiding “spaying or neutering pets only perpetuates the issue of pet overpopulation,” according to One Green Planet. Not only are there health, social and behavioral benefits to spaying or neutering your pup, but there are also environmental reasons to boot. 

Hopefully, this post helps you understand how combatting the core issue of overpopulation can potentially mitigate the disastrous results we see in our environment, inside our over-stressed animal shelters, our wildlife, and to these sweet pups themselves! 

Have you spayed or neutered your pup? Let us know in the comments!

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