Dog Adoption Advice

Do we have to castrate dogs by law?

With all its shortcomings and a long way to go in terms of respect for animals, the Animal Welfare Law that was approved in Spain in 2023 has been a great advance. However, there is a lot of ignorance on the part of many people who live with one or more pets. One of the most common doubts is whether dogs should be castrated by law, something that is quite clear in the text. But so that you do not have to read all the bacon, let’s see what the official text says and what advantages this intervention has.

Neuter dogs by law: yes or no

If you are the lucky life partner of an adorable puppy, you will know how much joy and how much affection they can give you. And in return we are obliged to take care of them as best as possible, trying to make them happy and have everything they need to live in optimal conditions. If you agree with this, maybe your future will go through working with them… How do you see it? A Veterinary Assistant Course will train you to improve the welfare of the most wonderful pets. Think about it!

And now, to ours. Should dogs be castrated by law? We mentioned earlier that the Animal Welfare Law approved in Spain on March 28, 2023, changed some things, as regards how we live with our pets. In the text, we find the answer to this question: the law does NOT require castrating our dogs, contrary to what many people think.

What the law does is protect pets from uncontrolled breeding, which is a source of abandonment and death. This means that you cannot cross your dog to have offspring; it is something that can only be done by those registered in the Register of Pet Breeders. On top of that, the text also makes it clear that the sale of animals “can only take place directly from the registered breeder” and that “the direct sale of any kind of pet through the internet is prohibited”.

And adopted dogs, should they be neutered?

Here, the law is also crystal clear. It is not that you should castrate an adopted dog; it is that these adorable dogs should be given to their new castrated families with all the relative documentation in order. What happens when we adopt a puppy or the animal has some health condition that discourages, for the moment, its castration?

Then, the center will deliver it after signing a sterilization commitment by his new life companions. Specifically, this obligation is stipulated in Chapter VII of the law and includes both public institutions and any entity dedicated to animal protection.

An intervention not without controversy (but with advantages)

The rules are clear, and of course, they must be complied with. But regardless of the need to castrate dogs by law, it is an intervention that has many detractors, as well as human companions who resist putting their best friends through that trance. In the case of bitches there are usually not so many doubts, since they are the ones that “carry” with the litter. But in males, the thing changes.

In addition to not wanting the animal to lose its nature, many human companions fear the operation. It is logical: there is always a risk to the life or health of the dog, but if we look for a center with guarantees there should not be problems. The possible weight gain and change of character of the animal after the operation are usually other problems put their detractors.

Faced with this, the castration of dogs (males and females) has obvious advantages. Stay with them:

  • Prevents diseases. In females, the development of breast tumors, uterine infections, and psychological pregnancies is prevented. In males, it is a way to prevent pathologies such as benign prostate hyperplasia. And in both, it prevents hormonal diabetes mellitus, perineal hernia, and other tumors.
  • Avoid wandering. Many times, dogs escape when they smell the females in heat. Castration ends this problem in both males and females; in these, it also cuts menstruation, with the inconvenience it entails.
  • Improves behavior. Castrated males do not fight or face “competitors”. Females, on the other hand, are freed from the nervousness and aggressiveness that often accompany zeal.

You don’t have to castrate dogs by law. What about cats?

If you live with a dog, you know: you shouldn’t castrate it, but you should avoid its reproduction. But what about the minions? In this case, the law is clear: they must be sterilized. It is logical since cats tend to escape and wander more than dogs (they are free and indomitable spirits…), and their reproductive capacity is great. Specifically, the Animal Welfare Law requires “identification by microchip and surgical sterilization of all cats before the age of six months”.

True animal lovers applaud every day the improvements that the Animal Welfare Act has brought, and we hope that it continues to evolve to end all forms of abuse. Our lifemates certainly deserve it. Would you like to contribute to their well-being, and at the same time undertake a career with many expectations? Do not hesitate: become a Veterinary Technical Assistant and your life will turn 180 degrees.

Ema Clark

Dog Trainer and Writer Since 2016. Over 17 years of experience working with all breeds and ages of dogs, using a variety of training techniques.
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