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Should I get my dog neutered?

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I have been advised to get my dog neutered by the vets. He is 7 months old. I had him booked in at 6 months but cancelled as a lot of people were telling me he was too young and that it would affect his coat.

Does anyone have any advice about this? If I do go ahead with the op, how can I make it less of a traumatic experience for him? 

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There are lots of pros and cons to neutering but I would place coat appearance last on this list of cons. There are other things to consider first in my opinion such as their health and wellbeing. There is lots of research to show that neutering reduces the risk of certain cancers. More recent research has shown that neutering can in some cases increase the risk of other cancers in larger breeds but if we are talking about the Cocker Spaniel in your Mutt of the Month competition entry then this should not be a concern. It's possible your dog will gain weight after neutering but this is preventable by monitoring their weight and diet.

There are also behavioural issues and the fact that by neutering you won't be contributing to the overpopulation and homeless dog problem through unwanted litters. Are they marking everywhere? Are they showing signs of aggression with other dogs, humping everything in sight? These are signs that neutering would help and the earlier this is done the better. If it is done before the behaviours develop then you will have an easier time.

Ultimately the decision is individual to the dog and guardian after considering all of these things. If they are showing these signs and your control with recall is not as strong then the decision is much clearer. Your pup is approaching the age now where these things will start to develop and most vets advise 6-9 months for neutering. 

Talk to your vet again with these things in mind. They are the health professional and coat should not be the overriding factor in the decision. They are also best placed to advise when this should be done.

I hope that helps but please keep us updated with how things go.

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Thank you for the advice. All things considered, we have decided to go ahead with neutering our dog. What prompted us to go ahead with it much sooner than we wanted was the fact the dog sitter we have booked for when we go away had made it a requirement and condition of taking our dog in.

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6 to 9 months is considered the best age for neutering. Even many people also go for neutering for their 8 weeks puppies. If we talk about benefits then your dog might be less likely to mount other dogs, and wouldn't roam away from the house in search of a mate. 

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