For female dog keepers, preventing them from becoming pregnant is usually a priority and a concern in each period of heat. Although there is a surgery that prevents pregnancies, In this article, we explain how to avoid a dog from becoming pregnant.
The female reproductive cycle
The dogs begin their sexual maturity at 6-8 months, before the small breeds and then the largest. From that moment, they will go into heat a couple of times in a year, almost until the end of their life. This period is divided into several phases, and it is in one of them, estrus, in which the dog will be receptive to the male and, therefore, may become pregnant. We will notice it because the vulva softens, will lift and remove the tail, raise the pelvis, etc.
If the coupling happens, the female will be pregnant for approximately two months, after which 4 to 8 puppies will be born, depending on the breed, which should be breastfed and remain with their mother for a minimum of 8 weeks. With an average of 6 puppies twice a year, a female dog could have about 120 puppies throughout her reproductive life, which, in turn, could also breed. That’s why a caregiver does not want its dog to get pregnant. We will see how to avoid it below.
How to prevent a dog from getting pregnant?
● Drugs: Our veterinarian can prescribe medications that inhibit heat, so our dog will not be able to get pregnant, but she will still be at risk of pyrethrum, tumors, and diseases related to the uterus and ovaries. Also, these severe health problems constitute the side effects of these drugs, which, although they could be used promptly, are not a good long-term solution.
● Sterilization: The most common operation is the ovariohysterectomy, which, as its name implies, involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries. If this intervention is performed before the first heat or just after, the risk of our dog suffering from breast tumors is practically eliminated. Nor would he suffer pyrometers or any other disease associated with these organs. It is a definitive method.
The ovariohysterectomy to prevent your dog from having pups
This is the most common and effective surgery if you don’t want a dog to have puppies. We have already seen what it is and what its benefits are, now we will see what the myths that continue to surround this intervention are:
● Change the character of the dog. It is not true and has no scientific basis. The only thing that changes is that the dog will not be nervous during the heat or try to escape.
● If the operation is performed when the dog is a puppy, it is normal that we notice that it is fattening, but it would also do so without operating because it has not completed its development. Some owners continue to feed their dogs in large quantities, which leads to weight gain. The amount of food should always be adapted to the animal’s exercise. In this way, when we observe an adult dog that gets fat after surgery, we should always think that the problem lies in the type of feeding, which has not been appropriately adapted.
● Fear of the operating room. It is normal, but for veterinarians, it is a routine and safe operation, where the dog is anesthetized and monitored to have it controlled at all times.
● Fear after surgery. It is understandable, but we must know that the dog recovers quickly, and we just have to control that the first days do not make sudden movements or lick the wound, for which we can use an Elizabethan collar. The stitches or staples are removed in 8-10 days if no intradermal stitches have been used.
● The cost. This will depend on the weight of the dog. Being higher, the higher it is. It may seem like a lot of money, but you have to keep in mind that you pay for the work of professionals, the maintenance of the operating room, drugs, anesthesia, etc. Besides, if we think about the cost of medication to inhibit heat, we will have amortized it in a short time. And if our economy still does not allow surgery, we must take into account that many associations and foundations of animals carry out sterilization campaigns during the year with specific veterinary clinics, through which a much lower price is offered to encourage sterilization and prevent bitches from becoming pregnant.