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Dunedin City Council – Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti

De-sexing your dog can reduce aggression problems as well as ensuring you don't wind up with unwanted pups.

Our dog de-sexing policy

We actively encourage the de-sexing of dogs by providing reduced registration fees for de-sexed dogs and by paying the actual costs of de-sexing for Community Service Card holders.

Funding is limited, so it's first-in-first-served, with a 50% male / 50% female split when the funding runs out, no more subsidised operations will be done until the following year.

You need to provide the following to qualify for the subsidy:

  • Name, address and contact phone number of registered owner
  • Dogs name and registration number
  • Community Card number and expiry date

Your dog must be registered in the Dunedin City Council area and  you must apply in person at the Customer Services Centre. You will need to complete an application form and we need to sight your documentation. When your dog is on the neutering list, the vet will contact you to make an appointment for the operation.

Advantages of de-sexing your dog

Surgical sterilisation is a permanent, safe and hassle free method of suppressing the urges to mate or fight. It allows other things to become more important such as obedience, retrieving, hunting or just plain having fun.

Statistics have shown that de-sexed animals are less susceptible to disease, live longer and fit into society better. The nature of a de-sexed dog does not change at all, but it can improve bonding between you and your pet.

For male dogs

De-sexing alters certain male behaviours but the changes are good. Most neutered males:

  • Don't feel the need to urine-mark their territories
  • Have less of a wandering urge
  • Are less aggressive without losing guarding ability or natural inquisitiveness

For female dogs (bitches)

De-sexing your bitch will not change her nature at all and it will prevent unwanted pregnancies. Contrary to popular opinion, she doesn't need to have a litter of puppies first.

If it is done early, the chances of mammary cancer developing are reduced. The longer bitches are left entire, the more susceptible they become to contracting uterus infections, which can be fatal.

There are drugs you can use to stop bitches coming into season (available from your vet) but they need to be repeated every 6-7 months and a small proportion of animals develop side effects. This method is also more expensive in the long run.

Disadvantages of neutering your dog

Perhaps the only disadvantage of de-sexing is that your dog may put on weight. As long as you are aware of this, you can take steps to prevent it.

More information

For more information about de-sexing, you can talk to your local vet, or contact us on +64 3 477 4000 or email:

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