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To: The Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland

Reconsider Early Neutering Rules for Dog Centres

Please sign the petition to change the rules so that owners have more freedom to choose, alongside their vet, when their dogs reach the right age for neutering. Just like humans, dogs develop at different ages and no two dogs will be the same. The blanket six-month rule is outdated and simply not acceptable in the 21st century.

Why is this important?

If you want your dog to attend a daycare or play facility then they must be neutered. Seems reasonable, yes?

However, if you want your puppy to attend the same facility they must also be neutered unless under the age of six months.

All of a sudden this doesn’t seem quite so reasonable, does it?

It is widely recognised that neutering at such a young age can cause both physiological and psychological damage to dogs. This is particularly true of larger breeds, which take significantly longer to mature. The result is a significantly increased risk of arthritis and other bone defects, abnormal bone growth and a lack of fusion of the growth plates.

Early castration can also result in the dog being stuck mentally in the adolescent phase and not fully maturing into an adult mental state or the ‘calming down’ that would be expected when a dog reaches adult maturity. This could in fact increase the chances of behaviour issues developing. Most of this damage cannot ever be reversed.

Just like humans, dogs need hormones in order to grow up in a healthy manner. At just six months old, most puppies are not yet mature enough to have these hormones altered or removed. We strongly believe that the restrictions around un-neutered puppies attending play centres should be changed. This is not a money making exercise on our part - this is an animal welfare issue and, as dog lovers, it is an issue we feel passionate about. Too many pups are being neutered at too young an age and it undoubtedly has a detrimental effect on them.

We are not vets, nor are we clinically trained but we have studied dogs and have extensive experience of working with a number of different breeds, observing the changes dogs go through following neutering. We believe it is important to be able to socialise all dogs when they are in their younger months so that they can develop their skills as they grow into maturity. This would result in better behaviour outcomes than early castration.

Clearly pregnancy is unwanted therefore a facility should have policy in place for management of dogs and ability to separate them into safe groups where necessary. Facilities should have procedures in place where if any dog - regardless of sex, age or neutering status - is causing issues or not fitting in, the owners are approached to find suitable alternative arrangements for the care of their dog.
Scotland, UK

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2021-02-19 10:56:27 +0000

100 signatures reached

2021-02-18 14:28:52 +0000

50 signatures reached

2021-02-18 12:51:30 +0000

25 signatures reached

2021-02-18 11:57:28 +0000

10 signatures reached