You’ve now decided to bring home your Shiba Inu. You’ve prepared your house for its arrival, bought all the toys it needs and read all the dog training articles and books out there. But one thing you should prepare for and ask yourself is “should I spay or neuter my Shiba Inu?”
If you are a new fur parent, you might be wondering what does spaying or neutering your dog means. Is it safe? What does it do for your dog’s health? How much does it cost? Is it necessary?
Here, we answer the frequently asked questions about spaying or neutering your Shiba Inu.
What is neutering?
Neutering, also known as castration, is when a veterinarian surgically removes a male dog’s testicles through an incision on the front of the scrotum. This prevents them from reproducing.
Neutering your Shiba is a simple and quick procedure. You’d usually be able to take your dog home the same day, but you might need to limit strenuous activity for at least two weeks.
What is spaying?
Spaying is performed on female dogs. Your female Shiba Inu will be put under anesthesia and her uterus and ovaries will be surgically removed. It’s a bit more complex than neutering but it is still a safe procedure that takes less than 90 minutes to finish.
Some veterinarians will recommend keeping your female Shiba overnight, but most can head home the same day. The recovery process will take two to four weeks and strenuous activities such as running, jumping, rough playing, and swimming have to be limited and supervised.
Should I spay or neuter my Shiba Inu?
When you are a new pet owner, the thought of your lovely dog going through surgery might be terrifying. Since neutering your pet is optional, you might be wondering what are the benefits of it?
Well, neutering and spaying have both benefits and risks. Read them below.
Benefits of Neutering or Spaying your Shiba Inu
Reduces unwanted behaviors. Territory marking is a commonly seen habit within the breed. Shiba would usually do this by lifting their leg when peeing. Apparently, the opposite sex finds it more attractive when a male dog sprays its urine high.
However, this could be quite troublesome, especially when they are inside the house. Since this action is hormonal-induced, it’ll be better to neuter your Shiba before it develops this kind of behavior. If they already did and you decided to neuter them, it’ll be difficult to remove this action.
Reduces health risks. One of the best benefits of neutering or spaying your dog is that it reduces health vulnerabilities. For male Shiba Inus, neutering reduces prostate infections and prostate cysts, while spayed Shiba Inu reduces the risks of ovarian tumors and uterine cancer.
Less Aggressive. An intact (unneutered) Shiba Inu is most likely to be more aggressive than neutered ones. Usually, a display of aggression is dominantly seen during heat season.
You will notice your dog being overexcited, constantly pacing, and whining. The worse case is picking fights with other male dogs. It can get violent and damaging. For female Shiba Inus, their heat will prompt them to become aggressive or escaping to breed.
When you neuter or spay them, you are saving yourself a round of these troublesome behaviors.
Risks of Neutering or Spaying your Shiba Inu
Less Mature. It is observed that neutered or spayed Shiba Inus are less mature than intact ones. However, you can avoid this by consulting your veterinarian first before pushing through with the surgery. Some Shiba Inus are better off without being spayed or neutered.
Urinary Incontinence. Though this is very rare, it’s not impossible. This condition is when the bladder leaks as your Shiba Inu ages, due to weak bladder muscles. However, this is only possible when you neuter your Shiba before its full development. To avoid this, neuter or spay your Shiba 6 months or older.
Also comes with health risks. Mentioned in the benefits is that neutering reduces health risks, however, that’s a 100 percent assurance that your dog will never get sick again.
A Shiba Inu who has been neutered or spayed are prone to hypothyroidism, osteosarcoma, and even cognitive impairments.
Is it safe? Painful?
There’s nothing to fret about. The surgery that involves neutering and spaying is safe in the hands of a professional. It’s not painful as your Shiba Inu will be anesthetized and put to sleep.
There will be minor discomfort, but overall it’s a safe and painless surgery.
Is it expensive?
Neutering or spaying your dog is an investment. You are saving more money when deciding to do so. When you have an unspayed Shiba Inu, they are bound to get pregnant sooner or later. Taking care of a pregnant dog and its pups is more expensive than having them spayed in the first place. Since neutering reduces health vulnerabilities, you are also saving money on future trips to the hospital.
Depending on the age, breed, and location, you can expect to pay between $50 to $400. There are also clinics that offer these services at a significantly lowered price so make sure to check that out.