If you are considering neutering your husky (or spaying for females), it’s important to know about the pros and cons of the procedure and what it entails to know if it is the right decision for you.
Neutering is proven to improve lifespan, but it has been linked to an increased risk of rare conditions in certain breeds. Neutering is still recommended by most veterinarians, but it’s important to discuss the procedure with your veterinarian first to be fully informed.
Keep reading to learn all about neutering your husky, including what the procedure is, what the benefits and drawbacks are, and much more.
- What Is Neutering/Spaying?
- Pros And Cons Of Neutering/Spaying A Husky
- Our View
- Myths Surrounding Neutering/Spaying
- When Should You Neuter/Spay A Husky
- What To Expect
- In Summary
What Is Neutering/Spaying?
Neutering is a process where the testicles are removed from male dogs; for females, the process is known as spaying and is where the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus are removed.
The process is more intensive for females and requires 1 to 2 weeks for a full recovery.
Males will recover in a similar timeframe but will usually get over the initial procedure quicker than females.
The risk of complications from the procedure is very low.
Pros And Cons Of Neutering/Spaying A Husky
If you’re going to neuter/spay your husky, it is important to know about the pros and cons (yes, there are downsides).
Let’s start with the pros to see what benefits neutering actually provides.
Helps To Prevent Overpopulation & Unwanted Pregnancies
There are approximately 3.1 million dogs in shelters in the US, and out of these, around 670,000 are euthanized each year.
Neutering/spaying your husky removes the chances of unwanted pregnancies. It may seem like there is little chance of this happening, but intact male dogs can smell female dogs on heat from miles away.
This means that finding responsible homes for the puppies can be very challenging.
One of the main arguments for neutering or spaying any dog is the health benefits that are related to it:
- Neutered male dogs have no risk of testicular tumors; it also helps to prevent prostrate conditions.
- Spayed female dogs have less risk of mammary tumors and womb infections.
- Overall, neutered or spayed dogs have a longer lifespan. A study of more than 70,000 records from the University of Georgia found that life expectancy increased by 13.8% for males and 26.3% for females. Other studies, such as a Banfield report in 2013 that analyzed 2.2 million dogs, found a 23% increase in lifespan.
I highly recommend reading this article from the Humane Society that breaks down all of the current health research for and against neutering/spaying if you want more detail.
There are some behavioral benefits from neutering/spaying a husky, as well as health benefits:
- Less likely to roam – Huskies are known to escape regardless of being near a female in heat, but this becomes even more likely if they aren’t neutered.
- Less likely to mark their territory – Intact huskies regularly mark their territory by urinating. This becomes much less likely to occur if they are neutered or spayed.
- Often reduces aggression – In some cases, male dogs see a reduction in aggressive traits after neutering due to reduced testosterone. Although huskies are not very aggressive by nature, this is still something worth knowing.
When it comes to health decisions like neutering or spaying, cost should not be a top priority, but it is important to consider.
If your husky accidentally gets pregnant, you will have to spend money to get assistance and scans during pregnancy, as well as vaccinations and other related costs for the puppies.
This can quickly rack up, especially when you consider that the average husky litter size is between 4 and 6 puppies.
Neutering/spaying costs between $50 and $500, with spaying being more expensive on average, which is much less than the costs associated with raising a litter of puppies.
There are some downsides to neutering and spaying, and it is important to be aware of them as a responsible owner.
Emerging Research Highlights Some Health Issues
Not all of the current research is positive, as there are some studies that have shown an increase in rare conditions and diseases after spaying.
The most popular of these are the UC Davies studies done on Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds from 2013 to 2016 that reported an increase in certain cancers, joint issues, and other conditions due to neutering/spaying.
There are several criticisms of these studies, such as a lack of control variables and a biased population, but they do point to the need for more search to be done in this area.
Unfortunately, there are not any large-scale studies in husky neutering or spaying specifically, but hopefully, in the years to come, more work will be done in this area.
Showing Your Husky
Unfortunately, at dog shows such as the Westminster Kennel Club, it is an automatic disqualification if a dog is spayed or neutered.
This means that if you are planning to show your husky at one of these shows, you will not be able to if they have undergone the procedure.
Neutering/spaying is proven to increase lifespan, and although it has been linked to increasing certain diseases and conditions, there is no denying that it reduces the instances of more common issues, which is why the overall lifespan of neutered/spayed dogs is higher, according to the most reliable studies.
We advocate for huskies to be neutered or spayed because of this, as well as the responsibility of preventing unwanted pregnancies due to how difficult breeds like the husky can be to rehome.
There are arguments for not neutering or spaying a husky, particularly if you are a certified breeder or want to compete in certain shows.
At the end of the day, it is a personal decision, but you should be aware of all the facts to make an informed decision.
Myths Surrounding Neutering/Spaying
It’s important to address some of the myths surrounding neutering/spaying, as there are quite a few of them!
Spaying your husky will not change their personality, contrary to popular belief.
The main ‘personality’ changes are actually just behavioral, such as reduced marking and roaming.
Neutering/spaying can give your husky a tendency to put on weight, but it is down to you to watch their calories and make sure they still exercise regularly.
It’s crucial during the period after the operation to watch their diet as they will not be able to exercise as much during this time. This is why so many dogs put on weight after the procedure.
When Should You Neuter/Spay A Husky
Most veterinarians advise spaying or neutering huskies between 6 and 9 months old, and some husky breeders with decades of experience recommend between 6 and 7 months.
The best advice is to speak to your veterinarian – ideally, one that has lots of experience with the husky breed – to see what they recommend in regard to the timing of neutering.
What To Expect
It takes around two weeks for male or female huskies to recover from the procedure, but females will need to rest a lot more during this period as the spaying procedure is much more invasive. Your husky will need to wear a cone during this time to stop them from licking the area and potentially causing an infection or other damage.
Before the procedure, you will be asked to stop feeding your husky for a period of time, and the vet will make sure that your husky is in full health before going ahead with the procedure.
Your husky will be sedated during the procedure, and they will be very tired and worn out when you collect them. Most veterinarians will keep your husky in overnight to monitor them afterward.
After the recovery time is up, you may be asked to bring your husky back to the veterinarian for a final check-up.
Neutering/spaying a husky is currently the right course of action, according to all of the research that has been done, unless you are a certified breeder or want your husky to compete in shows where only intact huskies are allowed.
Neutering/spaying increases overall lifespan, on average, as a result of decreasing the instances of common diseases and conditions while increasing the incidences of certain rare diseases. As I said before, I highly recommend reading this article if you want to explore the research fully to make your own decision.
It also has benefits for behavior and helps to prevent unwanted pregnancies, which is crucial for a difficult breed like the husky, where finding responsible owners can be challenging.