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D2002-04

Dear Daisy Dog

My veterinarian recommends I have my Pug spayed, but I'd like my children to learn about “the birds and the bees" by breeding her and letting them watch the birth of the puppies. What do you say?

Daisy Responds

As a spayed female, I can't stress enough the importance of spaying your dog! One in four unspayed female dogs gets mammary cancer before old age. That’s twice the human rate! Spaying before the first heat decreases the incidence to almost nothing.

Another reason to spay your dog is to decrease the risk of pyometra, a potentially fatal infection of the uterus.

Perhaps the best reason to spay her rather than breed her is that every pup she doesn't have saves another dog's life. Americans euthanize millions of lovable, healthy – but unwanted – dogs every year, and each family that adopts one of your pups won't adopt a dog through a shelter ... and that dog will die.

Keep in mind that many dogs give birth when no one is watching – and if your dog has a difficult delivery, you won't want your kids to watch. And we haven’t even mentioned the cost of a Caesarian section, if that’s needed.

So do your kids a favor and buy them some nature videos, which they can watch again and again.

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