I consider myself a responsible pet parent. I take my job seriously. Beyond food and shelter, I am accountable for my fuzzy one’s emotional and physical health. And, just like human parents – queue mood appropriate background music – that includes having ‘the talk’ with my pups. The dreaded, yet inevitable, birds and the bees talk. Can you imagine my embarrassment of buying my dog condoms?
The month of love, is also the month of protection. For your animals that comes down to a couple of choices.
- Teach your pet how to use condoms
- Spay and neuter your animals
I’ve attempted to have ‘the talk’ with Mattie. He didn’t seem that interested. Or at least he didn’t when he was young and fully intact….and humping one of his stuffed toys that was about his height. Poor stuffed sheep…that toy still looks a little horrified, even to this day. So, the decision was mine so it would seem. Mattie, like all dogs, doesn’t have thumbs and thus can’t drive a car or hop on a bus to go get dog condoms, and so off to the vet we went.
The Facts and Myths
Facts: Spayed female pets typically live longer and healthier lives! Spaying helps to prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, and that’s good as tumors are typically malignant or cancerous in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. Spaying your pet prior to first heat protects from these diseases. Spaying means your female pet won’t go in to heat, which can be horrendous for you, your pet, and your neighbors (you know what I mean if you’ve ever been through this). Neutering prevents testicular cancer and some prostate ailments in male pets and males are much less likely to roam and are better behaved.
Debunking the Myths: Baby’s got back! Pa-lease girlfriend, spaying or neutering does not cause your pet to become overweight. But, just like humans….it’s the overeating and sitting all day long that will cause your Fido to seek out the nearest Weight Watchers – not spaying or neutering. While neutering isn’t a panacea to manage behavioral problems, neutered pets often have less undesirable behaviors that stem from higher levels of testosterone – but since it’s science, there are no 100% guarantees…more like 75%!
The Choice Is Yours
I want my fuzzy son to realize a full life, and being the hip parent that I am, I recognize that he may do things that he does not share with me. Like bury bones where he’s not supposed to, urinate on a street corner…and yes, even date. Heck, the neighbor’s cat comes in through our dog door and makes herself right at home with Mattie…in his dog bed…. Oh oh, I don’t want to think about that! Okay, so since my pet doesn’t have thumbs, his reproductive rights, or lack thereof, are in my hands. I can either attempt to teach him how to wear condoms or tap into clinical advancements. Put me down for the later. You too? Here are some spay and neuter resources.
So, while it is silly fun to think of dog condoms as a choice, really they don’t exist and as a responsible pet parent, I know that spaying/neutering my pets is highly cost effective when compared to the cost of caring for a litter. Plus all of the health benefits mean I will likely have a more prolonged relationship with my fuzzy little guy. When it comes to spaying and neutering, we think the choice is pretty easy.
Hope you found this humorous, yet informative article helpful – and if you have any spay and neutering knowledge you’d like to share, please leave a note in the comments below. Now if I can only make amends with the stuffed sheep and until next time – take care and keep on lovin’ your dog!
Pet Condoms Photo Credit: San Francisco ASPCA
With lub, MattieDog, a little dog making a big impact in this world!®