Question: Other than keeping pet populations under control, are there any benefits to spaying or neutering an animal?
Our Answer: A recent study by the University of Georgia* compared lifespans of dogs that had been sterilized with intact dogs. Deaths and causes were monitored in over 40,000 dogs treated in veterinary teaching hospitals from 1984 to 2004.
Results of the study show that sterilization significantly increases a dog’s lifespan. Neutering male dogs increases life expectancy by 13.8%, and spaying female dogs increases life expectancy by 26.3%.
Dogs not sterilized were more likely to die from infectious disease, trauma, vascular disease and degenerative disease while sterilized dogs tend to die from cancer or autoimmune diseases.
It could be concluded that the type of death typical for sterilized dogs are diseases commonly associated with aging.
If you’re about to welcome a puppy into your family, talk to your vet about the best timing for sterilization, and give him a good start on a pleasantly long life.
*Click here to find out more about the study published on PLOS One.