7 Signs Your Dog Needs To Be Neutered

signs your dog needs to be neutered

Absolutely! Here’s a detailed description of dog neutering, its benefits, the signs your dog might need it, and key takeaways:

Understanding Neutering (Castration)

Neutering involves surgically removing reproductive organs to prevent unwanted pregnancies and address health and behavioral issues:

  • Male Dogs: Removal of the testicles.
  • Female Dogs: Ovariohysterectomy (removal of ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes) or laparoscopic ovariectomy (removal of ovaries only).

Why Neuter Your Dog?

  • Medical Reasons: Reduces the risk of hormone-related diseases (testicular cancer, prostate problems, mammary tumors, uterine infections). It may be necessary for medical conditions like cryptorchidism (undescended testicles).
  • Behavioral Reasons: Reduces mating behaviors driven by hormones (running away, aggression, mounting, excessive urine marking). Can make life easier for owners and safer for the dog.
  • Population Control: Helps prevent unwanted litters and pet overpopulation.

7 Signs Your Dog May Need Neutering

  1. Hormonal Stimulation: Excessive sexual interest and behaviors triggered by the presence of females in heat.
  2. Testicular or Prostate Issues: Early neutering can prevent tumors and prostate problems, especially in dogs with undescended testicles.
  3. Difficulty with Bowel Movements: Reduces constipation linked to enlarged prostate problems.
  4. Runaway Behavior: Prevents escaping to seek out mates, reducing risks of accidents and injuries.
  5. Aggressive Behaviors: May reduce aggression related to hormones.
  6. Urine Marking and Hypersexuality: Can significantly decrease these behaviors.
  7. Nervous Pregnancies: Can alleviate this distressing condition in female dogs.

Optimal Age for Neutering

  • Generally recommended at 5-7 months of age for dogs not intended for breeding.

Post-Operative Care

  • Initial Healing: Limit activity, prevent licking the wound (collar/bodysuit may be needed).
  • Stitch Removal: Usually about 10-12 days post-surgery.
  • Observe for Complications: Monitor for swelling, redness, or discharge from the incision, and contact your vet if necessary.

Benefits of Neutering

  • Prevention of Unwanted Pregnancies: Stops reproduction, crucial in reducing pet overpopulation.
  • Health Advantages: Reduces the risk of certain cancers, prostate diseases, and uterine infections.
  • Behavioral Improvements: Often decreases unwanted sexual behaviors, aggression, and roaming.
  • Longer Lifespan: Increased life expectancy due to reduced disease risks.

Potential Side Effects

  • Weight Gain: Changes in metabolism can make weight management more important. Adjust diet and exercise accordingly.
  • Coat Changes: May cause thicker coat growth in some breeds.
  • Urinary Incontinence (Rare): Sometimes occurs, especially in females. Consult your vet for treatment if needed.

Key Takeaways

  • Neutering is Generally Safe and Beneficial: Most dogs benefit significantly from neutering, with improved health and behavior.
  • Weigh Pros and Cons: Discuss the specific situation with your veterinarian to make an informed decision.
  • Responsible Pet Ownership: Neutering is a key aspect of responsible pet ownership, helping your dog live a longer, healthier life and reducing pet overpopulation.

If you are concerned about any of the signs mentioned above or are considering neutering your dog, consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance.

Why Neuter Dogs?

Neutering is the removal of the testicles or ovaries in your pet. Sterilization is the ligation of the tube or spermatic cord. When sterilized, the sexual gland remains preserved, and so does the behavior of your female or male.

Nowadays, there are various reasons for neutering dogs. This can be for medical reasons such as cryptorchidism (incorrect placement of one or both testicles), prostatitis, testicular cancer, epilepsy, or diabetes. It can also be related to behavior. Male dogs can be very sensitive to female dogs being in heat and will constantly eat, howl continuously, and/or try to run away to find the female dog as soon as possible.

Weight loss and the stress associated with heat periods may be a reason to neuter a male dog. Following castration, the dog’s sexual activity disappears and therefore it no longer displays this typical behavior. Some female dogs may be affected or tired when in heat, and others may suffer from significant discomfort.

7 Signs Your Dog Needs To Be Neutered:

Castration of the dog may be necessary when certain diseases, called hormone-dependent, cannot be cured if the dog is not castrated and the testicles continue to secrete sex hormones. There are some signs that indicate your dogs need to be Neutered. These signs are..

Hormonal Stimulation:

This is particularly verified in its sexual behavior: a dog has sexual activity linked to external stimulation (presence of a female dog in heat). Removed from sources of sexual stimulation, all reproductive interest has disappeared.

It is, therefore, wrong to imagine that a dog needs, for its general balance, to be “whole”, especially since most unneutered dogs will live without physical contact with a female due to non-consenting owners. 

A dog can live his life surrounded by females, which will make him hyper-excited. It is then a shame to have to administer hormonal treatment to calm him down. The most effective and least risky solution for the dog’s future health is surgical castration.


These mainly concern testicular and prostate problems. Testicular tumors are uncommon in dogs, they more frequently affect dogs with abnormal testicles, particularly when one of the testicles remains in the abdomen. If your dog is monorchid (only one testicle in place) or cryptorchid (no testicle in place), we advise you to have him operated on as soon as possible. In fact, he risks developing a tumor and will cope better with the operation if he is young and in good health. 


difficulty for the dog to make its stools. He suffers from chronic constipation with consequences in the colon, rectum, or anus, and a significant risk of perineal hernia.

Running Away:

During heat periods, unsterilized dogs are unbearable and are constantly trying to escape and find their loved ones. Running away is common and often results in fights, bites, and road accidents. If the males are in the presence of a female, it is impossible to make them obey, and some dogs are constantly trying to ride her. This situation is a sign of sexual hyperactivity of hormonal origin and is often very embarrassing for the owners of such dogs, who no longer dare to take them out.

Neutered male dogs are often calmer (in the sense that they are no longer interested in female dogs in heat if neutering is carried out early). Urine marking is greatly reduced by castration. Castration, however, has no impact on the animal’s activity level.

Enlarged Prostate:

Permanent pressure from the prostate on the ureter promotes cystitis. An increased risk of prostate infections (abscess) due to its enlargement. Let’s not forget the risks of road accidents and injuries from fights between dogs, which are greatly increased when running away, which is common among uncastrated dogs!

Urine Marking:

Males also develop undesirable behaviors such as urine marking or aggression. Castration reduces fights by 60% when they are in the presence of a female. It also reduces hypersexual behavior, which manifests itself through overlapping.

Aggressive Behaviors:

A female can also become aggressive at certain times in her cycle, particularly towards other dogs. Some female dogs are prone to nervous pregnancies. They show signs of aggression towards those around them, in a reflex to protect their puppies, materialized by toys or stuffed animals.

At What Age Should A Dog Be Neutered?

The recommended age for surgery for animals from which offspring are not planned is 5-7 months. Breeding dogs are neutered no later than the age of 7 years to avoid complications during anesthesia. At the appointment, the doctor will examine your animal and give more precise recommendations.

Post-operative Care Of The Dog:

The surgical wound should not be exposed to unnecessary stress. During the first few days, long walks, playing with other dogs, and jumping should be avoided. It is recommended that the dog be kept on a leash until the stitches are removed or the check-up visit is completed.

The use of a collar is sometimes necessary to prevent the dog from biting or licking the stitches. Most female dogs get used to the collar and can eat and drink without discomfort. In some cases the dog is dressed in a bodysuit which protects the surgical wound, provided that it does not touch the bodysuit or the stitches.

The stitches are removed after about 10 to 12 days. The surgical wound is sometimes taped and not sutured, or sutured but with suture which absorbs itself and the stitches do not need to be removed. The surgical wound should be checked daily. It is normal for the area around the wound to swell slightly and for a small amount of clear fluid or a few drops of blood to flow. If the area is very swollen or tight, warm and reddish, the wound smells bad, or you see a permanent liquid discharge, this may indicate an infection and you should contact your veterinarian. You should also contact your veterinarian if blood is leaking from the wound.

Benefits Of Neutering Dogs:

Castration obviously has the effect of sterilizing the male dog, it is, therefore, an operation of convenience, but it has other benefits such as eliminating certain annoying behaviors and may be indicated in cases of testicular tumor or enlarged prostate. In addition, as a preventative measure, castration limits the risk of developing these same conditions in old dogs, as well as other diseases. See below the benefits of Neutering Dogs.

A Beneficial Effect on Aging:

Neutered dogs have a calm lifestyle and some diseases are virtually eliminated. They will therefore live longer and age better, in particular thanks to a balanced and adapted diet.

Prevention of Diseases Of The Genital Tract:

Sterilization is often recommended for several reasons: Prevention of diseases of the genital system: and conditions of the testicles and prostate.

Concerning prostate conditions, it is important to know that the majority of prostate disorders are subject to hormonal impregnation. Castration will therefore effectively prevent a large number of prostate conditions. However, these conditions are common in dogs. Castration will also be part of the treatment of other prostate conditions such as prostate cysts or even abscesses.

Thus, castration represents an excellent preventive measure for the majority of conditions affecting the genital tract of male dogs.

Prevent Cancer:

Sterilizing or castrating your animal is also prevention. You protect him from serious illnesses. According to veterinarians, 25 to 50% of females develop a mammary tumor as they age. The risk would drop to 0.5% for female dogs sterilized before their first heat. Sterilization also protects against uterine cancer or infectious diseases such as metritis. In all males, castration reduces the risk of developing a testicular tumor, prostate disease, or hyperplasia.

Inability To Produce Offspring:

This plus dog castration plays an important role if your plans do not include breeding puppies. There is no point in torturing the animal or exposing it to a lot of stress – it is better to have surgery immediately after the first heat.

In addition, an unwanted pregnancy in a female can become a big problem for the dog’s owner. Not everyone can hand puppies into good hands and provide them with proper care, so it’s better to play it safe.

Reduce Behavioral Disorders:

Libido, mounting, and urine marking behaviors are greatly reduced following castration. However, this type of behavior can also be learned through dog experience. Thus, in certain dogs, the effect of castration on this type of sexual behavior can be disappointing.

Concerning aggression, studies are sometimes contradictory. If aggression between male dogs seems to be reduced with castration, that against humans and the protection of objects sometimes seems increased. As the feeling of anxiety may be increased following castration, it is important to analyze the dog’s behavior before making a final decision.

Side Effects of Neutering Dogs:

There are some side effects of neutering dogs. See below the side effects of neutering dogs…

Weight Gain:

A dog’s appetite and metabolism are generally affected by sex hormones. They reduce feelings of hunger in uncastrated dogs while stimulating indirect metabolism. After castration, sex hormones no longer have an effect and this generally causes an increase in appetite while the need for energy has decreased. This often results in excess weight unless the owner is aware of the risks and takes care.

If a dog gains weight it risks developing diabetes, joint disease, a shorter life expectancy, reduced stamina, poorer heat tolerance, and an increased risk in case of anesthesia increases. It is not very difficult to ensure that your dog does not gain weight after neutering. Two factors play a crucial role: exercise and changing or reducing your diet. As soon as the surgery is done, you must carefully monitor your food intake and possibly correct it before you gain weight.

Changed Coat Quality:

Neutering can also cause coat changes. In medium and long-haired breeds, you may notice faster hair growth and thickening of the coat.

Urinary Incontinence:

castration can lead to an increased risk of urinary incontinence, that is, the dog leaks urine unconsciously, especially when it is at rest. Incontinence occurs because the muscles at the end of the urethra cannot remain tight because they are no longer under the influence of sex hormones. Urinary incontinence can occur 10 months to several years after castration. Urinary incontinence in male dogs is unusual after neutering, but the risk exists. It affects less than 1% of cases, but in these cases, the treatment is more complicated than in female dogs.

Castration Of The Female Dog:

In the classic castration method (ovariohysterectomy, OHE), the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes are removed. This means that the risk of developing uterine-related diseases, such as uterine inflammation (pyometra), is eliminated. Diseases like diabetes and epilepsy can also be improved if the dog is neutered. Finally, female dogs who suffer from fatigue, depression, or nervous pregnancy when they are in heat generally do better once neutered.


Considering all the possible diseases that accompany an uncastrated male, surgery is recommended for all animals not involved in breeding. There are more advantages than disadvantages to castration of dogs, since it helps protect the pet from various diseases, corrects its behavior, reduces aggression, and also forces it to wean itself from the constant marking of the territory.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at ItsAboutDog.com.

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