Sterilization: need or intervention in the nature of the animal?
Sterilization is avoided by many owners because they regard it as an interference with the animal's nature. The truth is, yes, neutering is an intervention in the nature of the animal. But it can also be a necessity.
The nature of the dog is to mate twice a year, and for the cat as a seasonal polyester animal it is possible to mate more than two times per year. For many female pet owners this is undesirable. Beyond the stress of pregnancy and childbirth, there is always the question of what to do with puppies when they are weaned. But even for male owners, "getting out" of their pet will have the potential to create several strays that will in turn reproduce and inflate the problem further.
So if an animal for the aforementioned reasons does not mate regularly or mate a few times in its life, is it not an intervention in its nature?
Medically, sterilization of the male animal reduces the desire to reproduce but also significantly reduces the risk of tumor neoplasms and prostate diseases. For females, the risk of developing tumors is also significantly reduced as well as the risk of developing pyometra or pseudokinesis. The procedure is considered routine and the risk is small for your four-legged friend.
In addition to its medical benefits, it reduces reproductive desire and improves animal behavior. Especially for males, mating trips and fights with other males are avoided, and therefore disease transmission.
Most important of all, however, is avoiding unwanted pregnancies and reducing stray animals respectively.
As for the effects on the neutered animal's behavior, his life will continue to be normal. None of his instincts - guarding, hunting, etc. - will be lost or diminished beyond reproduction. Its diet should only be changed to a food specifically for neutered animals.
Pregnancy of a dog or cat is not always undesirable. But some questions arise. If your pet mates, what will you do with the babies? Are you prepared to care for puppies or kittens until they are weaned and until they find a home? Will you make sure the babies find the right home? Are you prepared to meet their needs in cleanliness, food, medical care etc until then or keep a pet that is late to find or not find a home?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then don't mate your pet!
The owner who intends to mate his pet should also bear in mind that under Article 6 of Law 4039/12 breeding is only permitted by registered breeders: “When even a female breeding dog is bred, it is mandatory to issue a breeding and marketing license for pets. Pet breeding and marketing licenses shall also be required for amateur dog or cat breeders where the conditions set out in the preceding subparagraph are fulfilled."
Sterilization is the most responsible choice of a dog or cat owner and the benefits to the animal itself and the environment outweigh any ethical considerations.