The Pros and Cons of Spaying Golden Retrievers

The Pros and Cons of Spaying Golden Retrievers

There are pros and cons to spaying golden retrievers, just like any other breed of dog. It’s important to weigh all the options before making a decision about whether or not to spay your pup. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the key benefits and drawbacks of neutering golden retrievers.

As spaying the golden retrievers involves a full-scale surgical procedure, the decision should be taken after weighing all the pros and cons. However, both options come with their own risks and benefits.

Pros of Spaying Golden Retrievers

Say goodbye to ‘heat’ cycles.

Spaying a dog is equivalent to a hysterectomy, i.e., removing the ovaries and uterus. This will help in preventing menstrual cycles and pregnancy. The females are on ‘heat’ every six months among golden retrievers. During this period, they are fertile and ready to mate. Removing the reproductive organs reduces the production of hormones, which causes the ‘heat.’

Lower the risk of health problems.

Vets recommend spaying of female golden retrievers mostly for health reasons. A dog that is not spayed has more chance of contracting fatal diseases. These include tumors, cancer, and lesser evils like endometritis. 

Neutering a male Golden Retriever has some benefits, like reducing the risk of developing testicular cancer and enlargement of the prostate. However, there are also risks associated with neutering golden retrievers, like an increased risk of other health conditions. For example, early spaying a Golden Retriever (before 12 months) old may increase the risk of developing osteosarcoma.

Avoid unwanted pregnancy and other risks.

Spaying also gives other benefits to the female golden retrievers. Mating and pregnancy, through natural processes, carry their risks. While in heat, females produce a pheromone that males smell even at a great distance. Even bigger dogs of other breed seek out female golden retrievers, which puts them at high risk and present them with an unwanted pregnancy. All these can be completely avoided by spaying the dog. 

Though pregnancy and delivery occur naturally, it is comparatively difficult for dogs than humans due to the number of pups per pregnancy. The average number of pups per birth is around eight. However, the chances of all of them surviving the trauma of birth and growing up healthy are bleak. Moreover, the strain of pregnancy and birthing takes a heavy toll on the mother dog and also on the caregiver.

Keep your home clean and your dog healthy.

Beyond the risk of pregnancy, there are other reasons to consider for spaying. Like humans, female dogs in heat also have menstrual cycles to secrete blood. Unfortunately, it is difficult to clean and inconvenient for the owner. This phase lasts for about two weeks.

Cons of Spaying Golden Retrievers

On the negative side, spaying is a full-blown surgical procedure carrying all the risks associated with it. Vets do it every day, but it is always a difficult choice to make for you when it is your pet’s turn. Moreover, doing away with a healthy organ, which is there for a definite purpose, is not an easy decision to take. 

Side effect after surgery.

Some dogs develop behaviors related to their hormones after they are neutered. For example, your dog will start to lift their legs to pee on things or become aggressive after neutering. 

Neutering golden retrievers can lead to urinary incontinence. 

Another thing to consider when deciding whether or not to neuter your Golden Retriever is the possibility of urinary incontinence. Although it is not very common, it can occasionally happen after the surgery. This happens when the dog’s bladder muscles are still developing and are weaker than they should be. For this reason, early spaying is not recommended until a dog reaches six months old.

Weight gain.

Spaying a dog can sometimes lead to weight gain, especially in spayed females. This is because the dog’s body will no longer produce estrogen, which can lead to a slower metabolism. However, maintaining a good diet and exercise regimen for your dog may help you avoid this weight gain.

Fur Texture Change.

In general, when a male dog is neutered, it will experience some physical changes. In some cases, this might be on the coat of the dog. For example, male golden retrievers may change their coat’s texture. Neutered dogs may also change how sensitive their skin is to temperatures. Although these changes might not affect how healthy your dog is overall, they can still influence things like the texture and sensitivity of your pet’s coat.

Decreased Life Span.

The health risks of early spaying are the dog will grow taller and live a shorter life. This has been studied in Golden Retrievers, and it has been found that tall dogs live shorter lives than shorter ones.

The study also found that spayed female Goldens lived an average of two years shorter than unspayed females, and neutered male golden retrievers lived an average of one year shorter than unneutered males.


Early spaying is not recommended as there is an 80 percent greater risk of hypothyroidism. This can lead to obesity and other health problems.

Additionally, spayed female dogs may have a harder time conceiving if they later want to become pregnant. Ultimately, whether or not to spay a golden retriever is up to the individual pet owner.


So, what’s the verdict? Is neutering golden retrievers right for your pup? The answer is ultimately up to you and depends on various factors. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision. If you decide that spaying is the best option for your dog, be sure to find a qualified veterinarian who can perform the surgery safely and effectively. Thanks for reading!

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