Boy or Girl?
When you are purchasing a pet for your family, the question of male or female is not as significant as it may seem. The simple truth is that all family pets should be spayed or neutered at a young age, before their sexual behaviors develop. After this simple surgery, gender becomes a minor factor.
The advantages of spaying or neutering early (usually before 6 months of age) are many. Here are just a few:·
Better health: reduced risk of cancer and urinary tract infections·
Better pet behavior: less aggression, reduced desire to roam with decreased risk of disease or accident, better behavior around other dogs, reduced (or eliminated) territorial marking·
Easier care: no heat cycles with bleeding twice a year; no males trying to get in or out of your yard·
Benefits to the community: no unwanted puppies to add the thousands that are euthanized each year, fewer strays and dog bites, reduced waste in common areas, less barking and noise, fewer tax dollars spent on animal control, fewer incidence of disease and rabies.
For all these reasons, early spaying or neutering is the best thing you can do for your dog. The largest spay/neuter clinic in Arizona is Altered Tails. They charge approximately $50.00 for a neuter and $60.00 for a spay. The Arizona Humane Society has a mobile surgery center with comparable pricing that travels throughout the year. In the Phoenix area, Maricopa County has a mobile unit that will even spay and neuter for free.
So if we were choosing a pet for someone we loved, we would let characteristics like health, temperament, beauty and size guide us rather than gender. If you spay or neuter your dog while s/he is young, you will have a happy, even-tempered companion -- boy or girl.