To neuter or not to neuter

neutering

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To neuter or not to neuter

Jack is giving you a piercing look that bores straight into your soul. You blush. Could he really know what’s going through your head? What would your dog think if he knew you’re mulling over the possibility of parting him from his family jewels? Would he really mind? Would he understand the necessity? Is it really necessary? Everyone around seems to think that it is in your dog’s best interest for it to be neutered, but … is it really the case?

The catch and neuter revolution in the Western world has gained momentum, and it is currently at its peak. People nowadays don’t think twice about neutering their dogs. It’s the most logical thing to do! Asking whether neutering is necessary seems to come as an afterthought. Society seems to be sold on this idea, and anyone willing to debate the issue is soon glared down to a hush.

Why neuter?

If you have no intention of breeding your dog, or live in an area highly populated by dogs where your dog can run away and get up to no good resulting in an unwanted litter of puppies, then perhaps it is better to neuter your dog for the sake of all parties involved. When dogs have litters they very rarely give birth to one pup. Litters are usually big enough to make distributing all the puppies to a good home a very tough job.

Neutering your dog at an early age will also diminish or eliminate your dog’s natural urges to look for a mate. Intact dogs can often show a lot of undesirable behaviour like humping objects and people. Neutering or spaying will usually prevent dogs from trying their darn best to escape when in heat or when aware of a potential mate in the vicinity.

Intact bitches will also bleed when in heat. Most people find this to be a great inconvenience as it can make a bit of a mess, leaving spots of blood all over an otherwise spotless house. However, this can be fixed by making your dog wear a diaper designed for the sole purpose of containing such unwanted secretions.

Neutering also makes it impossible for the occurrence of cervical or testicular cancer. It also eliminates the occurrence of pyometra in bitches when the uterus is removed in its entirety.

Why not?

Although neutering is in most cases a good idea, it is also usually a surgically invasive procedure. Going under general anaesthetic has its own risks, and although significant advancements have been done in the field of anaesthesia one should still not think lightly of it. Some dogs might be particularly sensitive to the anaesthetics being used and might experience some complications during the surgical procedure. Others are totally unfit to go under general anaesthesia because of certain health issues like heart problems. In such situations, male dogs have the option of chemical castration. Unfortunately, this is not an option for female dogs. Chemical castration involves the direct injection of chemicals in the male dog’s testicles; a procedure that cannot be done on a female dog’s ovaries.

Incontinence is also a subject that often that crops up when discussing neutering. It is often the case that neutered dogs develop incontinence as a result of neutering. In both male and female dogs this occurs due to a decrease in hormone concentrations that are usually produced by the dog’s ovary or testes. Besides piloting the dog’s reproductive system, these hormones are also responsible in maintaining the muscle tone of the dog’s urinary system and therefore help the dog control its bladder thus avoiding any involuntary release.

Obesity is another common issue after neutering. Having lost their intactness, resulting in a hormonal imbalance; dogs of both genders usually end up with a lower calorie requirement. The problem is when owners give in to their dog’s seemingly insatiable appetite and overfeed their dog without taking this reduced calorie requirement into account.

Are there any other alternatives?

As a matter of fact, there are a number of other alternatives! Besides chemical castration as mentioned above there are other surgical procedures such as tubal ligation. One can also find hormonal treatment which is the canine equivalent of the contraceptive pill. Subcutaneous implants are also becoming commonplace as more owners decide to use this method preferring a less hands on approach.

Tubal ligation involves the closing of the female dog’s uterine horns in order to make it physically impossible for the male sperm and female ovum to meet. Although this still involves going under anaesthetic, the ovary remains within the female’s body and therefore this procedure results in less hormonal fluctuation and therefore no significant changes. The pill option is promising; however, it is still too complicated to be used properly by the average Joe and comes with a considerable number of potential side effects (including pyometra, cancer, diabetes, etc). Having said this, the pill is a reversible method which is best suited for breeders that wish to have a level of control over the reproduction of their dogs. The contraceptive subcutaneous implant currently seems to be the most effective of all the contraceptive methods for dogs besides neutering. The implant prevents pregnancy by constantly releasing hormones over an extended period of time. It seems to have no side effects and its effectiveness lasts for over a year.

Research concerning contraceptive methods in animals is still in its infancy. Until then, dog owners, although currently presented with more options than ever before, still need to seriously consider the option of surgical neutering. However, things seem to be improving at a steady pace. We can all hope that in the near future surgical neutering will be one of the many options that dog owners can choose from.


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The following is needed to bring a puppy into Dubai:


  1. All dogs entering Dubai from a low-risk country at least 15 weeks old, and those entering from a high-risk country must be at least 27 weeks old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Dubai must be equipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Dubai must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Valid for 30 days.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Dubai specific vaccinations: Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Rabies.
  5. Rabies Titer Test * – All dogs entering Dubai must be tested for rabies no later than 14 days before the planned travel date. ( Only from specific
  6. Parasite check - All pets travelling to Dubai must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.
  7. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Dubai.
  8. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.


* The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:
  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Abu Dhabi:


  1. All dogs entering Abu Dhabi from a low-risk country at least 15 weeks old, and those entering from a high-risk country must be at least 27 weeks old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Abu Dhabi must be equipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Abu Dhabi must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Valid for 30 days.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Abu Dhabi specific vaccinations: Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Rabies.
  5. Rabies Titer Test * – All dogs entering Abu Dhabi must be tested for rabies no later than 14 days before the planned travel date. ( Only from specific
  6. Parasite check - All pets travelling to Abu Dhabi must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.
  7. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Abu Dhabi.
  8. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.


* The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:
  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Hong Kong:


  1. All dogs entering Hong Kong must be at least 3 months old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Hong Kong must be equipped with either a 9 or 15-digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Hong Kong must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Valid for up to 6 months.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Hong Kong specific vaccinations: Canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus and rabies.
  5. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Hong Kong.
  6. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.
  7. Captain’s Affidavit – Document to be provided by the airline personnel confirming that your dog has not left its crate or interacted with other pets at any point during the journey.


* Hong Kong classifies countries into 3 groups. Vaccinations against rabies are only required from Groups 2 & 3.
  • Group 1: Rabies-free countries (at least 6 months of residency) Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Bailiwick of Jersey.
  • Group 2: Rabies-controlled (at least 4 months of residency) Austria, Bahrain, Bermuda, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Guam, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Vanuatu, Bahamas, Belgium, Brunei, Cayman Island, Denmark, France, Gibraltar, Iceland, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands, USA (Continental), Virgin Islands.
  • Group 3: All other countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Switzerland:


  1. All pets entering Switzerland must be equipped with a 15-digit microchip that is compliant with ISO 11784/11785.
  2. Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper.
  3. Rabies vaccinations are mandatory. Dogs must receive their first rabies vaccine at least 21 days before entering the country.*
  4. The state veterinarian of the origin country must equip the dog with a valid Health Certificate.
  5. Import Permit – all dogs entering from a 3rd level rabies country must carry an import permit issued at least three weeks in advance. Entry points through Basel, Geneva, Zurich.
  6. Different regulations depending on whether it is a commercial purchase or individual and where the dog is coming from.


* Specifications differ for booster shots. ** Switzerland categorises countries by level of risk of rabies in three levels.
  • Level 1: All EU Member States and Andorra, Switzerland, Faeroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Northern Ireland, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City State.
  • Level 2 (Low Risk of Rabies): Ascension Island, United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Aruba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda,Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Belarus, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Great Britain (including Crown dependencies), Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, North Macedonia, Montserrat, Mauritius, Mexico, Malaysia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Russia, Singapore, Saint Helena, Sint Marteen, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, United States of America, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
  • Level 3: All other countries are considered as having a high risk of rabies.
Travel Requirements