Each year, more than 200 stray dogs are handled by Burdekin Shire Council.
Most of these dogs are not desexed. Many are litters of crossbreed pups from parents left to wander the street and breed at will. Such animals only add to the flood of unwanted animals the Burdekin Shire Council and the RSPCA are trying to cope with.
Research into the reasons for pet ownership have shown that only 5% of pet owners have a pet for breeding purposes. Therefore only 5% of pets need to be left entire. In reality, 30% of female dogs and 85% of male dogs are not desexed.
It is natural for a dog to breed but it is certainly not natural for a dog to live in the bustling confusion of a busy suburb.
Why have my dog desexed?
To make dogs happy in our suburban rat-race, we need to train them, to fence them and, most importantly, to desex them. These requirements benefit both the dog and the community.
Desexing has advantages for your pet.
Firstly, female dogs that are spayed do not have the continual strain of litters depleting their body of essential nutrients.
Secondly, male dogs and females in season look for a mate. Female dogs that are spayed and male dogs that are castrated do not roam the suburbs to the same extent.
During such neighbourhood jaunts, these dogs can be baited, hit by cars, or lost. Desexed dogs are less likely to suffer such a fate.
Thirdly, male dogs are less aggressive and less territorial if castrated and therefore are less likely to suffer wounds from fighting.
In addition, female dogs that have been desexed are much less likely to develop the dog equivalent of breast cancer.
Desexing dogs reduces the number of unwanted, stray and abandoned animals. With fewer strays, our footpaths and parks are cleaner under foot.
Should a dog have a litter before being desexed?
The biggest myth is that a female animal should be allowed to have a litter before it is desexed. There is no truth to this at all.
There is absolutely no advantage in allowing an animal to have a litter before having it desexed. It does not make it more tranquil or more mature, it only adds to our stray problem.
It is not advisable to try to recoup the cost of the pet through breeding. Essential pet care procedures such as vaccinations, worming of the litter and correct feeding will only add to the cost.
The best age to have a dog desexed is between six and nine months.
Dogs are amazing creatures. Desexing is a major surgical process which, in humans, would entail bed rest for days or weeks. However when your pooch is desexed you can expect it to be bounding about quite normally the day after surgery.