Spaying dogs can prevent unwanted puppies, increase a dog's life expectancy and save your dog from serious health problems. It can decrease the chances that your dog will run away.
What Does Spaying Involve?
Spaying is a procedure for removing the ovaries and uterus of female dogs. The operation means that there is no chance that the dog will ever produce puppies. The operation is carried out at a veterinary clinic and will usually mean your dog stays at the clinic for a few nights under observation.
Reasons Spaying Your Dog is a Good Idea
There are health benefits for your dog that result from spaying. It greatly reduces the risk that your dog will some day develop cancer and other uterine and ovarian diseases. Spayed dogs have longer life spans on average than dogs that remain intact.
Spaying dogs can also help to reduce aggression problems.
If you spay your dog when it's a puppy there are extra benefits. Spaying puppies means you won't have to worry about your bitch coming into heat, as spaying dogs before the first heat phase eliminates the heat cycle. Some dogs come into heat more or less often than others, but generally it happens twice a year and last for about 3 weeks. There will be a bloody discharge from the vulva during this period and you will know about it, because your pet will show you every chance it gets.
Generally, dogs should be spayed when they reach 6 months of age. You will have to discuss this point with your vet.
Spaying also decreases the urge to go wandering the streets looking for a mate. Many Jack Russell Terrier bitches end up lost because they go out searching for a male when their heat cycle kicks in. Spaying reduces this problem greatly.
Should I Spay My Dog?
The answer to that question is most likely a yes. If your dog is only a pet and you never intend to show it in a dog show, you're best to have it spayed. Leave breeding to the professionals who have the time and resources to deal with a litter of puppies - chances are, even if you've read up about it, breeding will be much harder than you think. There are already too many Jack Russells languishing in rescue centers, waiting for a loving home.
Be aware that some breeders will only sell you a puppy as long as you agree to have it spayed. Also keep in mind if you are looking for a puppy that it costs more to spay a female than to neuter a male, but the cost is generally kept low to encourage owners to have their dogs spayed.
If you want to show your dog, you can't have it spayed.
Is There a Downside to Spaying Dogs?
Some owners claim that their dog has started to gain weight after the spaying. This should not be a problem if you exercise the dog on a regular basis. Spaying should not change your dog's personality, except that it may make the dog less aggressive. There has also been speculation that spaying before 6 months of age can be linked to medical problems. Talk to your vet to find out more about what to expect.