When it comes to dogs, should pet desexing be viewed as an optional extra, much like pet grooming? While you can certainly groom your pet yourself, it's not as though you can curb your dog's sexuality without medical intervention. You can control it, to a certain extent, but absolute diligence is required. You only need to turn your back in the dog park for a second, and your faithful companion could be mounting one of his doggy friends. With female dogs who are not desexed, it's more difficult. When she goes into heat, you might not even be aware of it until other dogs start to pay her an urgent kind of attention, which can be rather distressing for her. Pet desexing should not be an optional extra, even if you think it's an expense that you might not so easily be able to accommodate.
The fact of the matter is that dog desexing isn't an optional extra in some parts of Australia. This is legislated by state and territory governments, and dogs registered in the ACT and South Australia must be desexed before they reach six months of age. Other states and territories might follow suit at some point in the future. Failure to adhere to this requirement is an offence, and you might be fined, which is certainly going to be more expensive than desexing. But what about if you're concerned about the cost of the procedure?
As the adage for dog ownership goes—adopt, don't shop. Those who want a specific breed might still purchase a purebred dog since they might be concerned about the unknown parentage of a puppy adopted from a shelter. But puppies adopted from a shelter often come with desexing included in the adoption fee, so this is not an additional cost you must incur. Ask the animal shelter if you're unsure, although they might contact you to make the appointment when your new puppy is old enough (generally before six months).
Just like health insurance for humans, pet insurance is something you hope you'll never have to use, but it's still an excellent idea. Pet insurance often views desexing to be a part of routine care and so is covered by the policy. The precise inclusions vary, so be sure to check your policy carefully. But insurance is a convenient way to cover this procedure as well as any others your dog might require during their lifetime.
So even though it's only mandatory in a handful of places in Australia, pet desexing should not be an optional extra, particularly as there are a number of ways to offset the expense. Visit a veterinarian who provides pet desexing to learn more.