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Spaying your dog not only has health and behavioral benefits, but it also helps control the growing homeless dog population, which means less dogs in kill shelters. While you may not want to inflict any unnecessary pain onto your pup, the benefits of spaying them far outweigh the drawbacks.
Having your female dog neutered means they are much less susceptible to uterine infections and breast tumors. For males, they will be much less likely to develop testicular cancer or other prostate problems.
Before female dogs go into their first heat is the ideal time to have them neutered. Once they are neutered, they won’t go into heat the usual every three/four weeks. Frequent urination, howling/yelping, and more behavioral issues regularly occur during the time they are in heat, so neutering them can prevent these behaviors.
Males should also be spayed as early as possible to prevent any of their behaviors from becoming habit. Males have other behavioral issues like being more likely to run away from home (because they will do whatever it takes to find a mate when they want to). Your male dog could also try to mount other dogs or have more frequent urination. Spaying them prevents these type of behaviors.
Spaying/neutering your dog is actually very cost effective because the cost of caring for a liter of puppies far outweighs the cost of the procedure. It is not an ideal situation to put your dog through surgery, but the benefits are hard to argue with. You are bettering your dogs life by doing so.
Also remember, you should always consult with your vet first if you have any other questions or concerns regarding spaying your dog and what to expect!