Episode #13 Transcript
Marc Smith, DVM:
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to PET | TAO.FM, the PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products podcast.
I’m your host, Dr. Marc Smith, 20-year practicing veterinarian and co-creator of PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products, and I want to back up for a minute.
I want to talk about and I want to address things that really get to the point, and the reason why is because I had a caller, a person call in today to the clinic, and they said, “Hey, Dr. Smith. I need to ask you a question.” The question was, why should I neuter my pet?
I’ve answered that question now going on 20 years, and I’ve answered it on the phone many times, and I thought, you know, it would be a great idea to do a podcast about that, why should I neuter my pet?
[It’d also be a great idea to take the opposite angle, or the opposite approach, and consider the fact why you should not neuter your pet. In this five or ten minute podcast I’m going to tell you, I’m going to answer both of those questions, first why you should neuter your pet, and second why you should not neuter your pet. I’m going to answer those questions to you as best I can, and so you can know the options you have moving forward if you have a new puppy or even if you have an adult dog.
The first question: why should you neuter your pet? The biggest benefit I see out of neutering thousands of pets over my career is that neutering your dog changes their behavior. They feel better, so I’m sure when you were a teenager, for the guys out there or the girls out there, you behaved differently than when you were older.
One reason why you did that, or you do that, is because your hormones change as you age, and so we neuter pets because when we neuter them, remove their testicles, we remove the source of testosterone, and their behavior automatically changes. Behavior such as, they don’t mark, so they don’t go and hike their leg, and piss all over everything they see. That’s one thing.
They don’t roam. They tend not to roam off looking for a mate.
Number three, they’re not near as aggressive, so there’s less fighting.
I think the main reason I explain to people, just to summarize, of why you should neuter your pet, is because it changes their behavior, typically and most likely for the better, and those animals become better pets.
That’s it, so let’s take the opposite viewpoint. Why should you not neuter your pet? I just want to explain something, and I want to reiterate something. When I’m talking about neuter, neutering, I’m referring to male dogs where we castrate them, not female dogs where we spay them, but male dogs when we castrate them.
Why would you not want to neuter your pet? There’s really one primary reason. When you neuter a dog, as I mentioned earlier, you take away the testosterone, okay, and I can’t remember it from vet school, but testosterone and estrogen together, they play a role in your fat burning and how your body metabolizes fat, and also in the strength, the pliability, and the flexibility of all of your tendons and ligaments, okay?
One reason, and the main reason why I tell you you don’t neuter your pet is because the pet obesity epidemic is directly related to neutering and taking away the fat burning power of the hormones testosterone and estrogen. What’s going to happen is if you keep your pet whole, you can feed more calories, because those dogs are more efficient at burning calories. If they’re more efficient at burning calories, what happens? They don’t gain weight, but when you remove those testicles, you remove that furnace that burns calories, and those dogs blow up. They get fat, and so the main reason you wouldn’t want to castrate your pet or neuter your dog is because they gain weight.
Another reason is because, like I said, when you remove those hormones, the testosterone and the estrogen, you’re also changing the way the soft tissue structures like the tendons, ligaments work in the body, and so those dogs are at a greater risk of cruciate ligament tears or ligament tears. Common problem.
It’s an expensive problem, and dogs who are neutered and even spayed have a greater risk of tearing those structures.
If you liked what we talked about today on the PET | TAO Holistic Pet Products podcast, then give us a rating on iTunes, and if you want to learn more about pets and the best way to take care of your pets, then go to our blog at www.pettao.com and educate yourself and empower yourself, because we give you the best information on how to take care of your pet. Until next time, have a safe and happy holiday, and we’ll see you soon.