HEALTH & CARE

Birth Control for Dogs: Spare Your Buddy The Hardships of Parenthood

Birth Control for Dogs
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

There are multiple ways of looking at the prospect of parenthood. Some look at it with an expression of eagerness and the anticipation of starting a family, while others look at it in terror realizing that their idea of freedom and youth is crushing in front of their eyes. This is why we, as a species, have come to make a lot more decisions about this topic than we can think of.

Sadly though, dogs have the same issue, parenthood having a different impact on them, but just as severe. Indeed both the human and the dog can be caught off-guard by pregnancy and the bundle of joy that can make things a lot more complicated than they should be. This is probably the main reason why we decided to do our canine companions a favor and actually invest some time, energy and resources into finding a way to implement birth control for dogs.

Dog with pills

The good news is that we have managed to find some solutions regarding this topic, the bad news is that it is not exactly as easy as it is with us humans. Birth control is split into 2 parts when it comes to our canine companions, either it’s temporary or permanent, and despite the popularity of some solutions, the temporary ones are still there and need to be discussed as well.

Birth control pills for dogs

This is one of the temporary birth control solutions, and by far the most popular one of the temporary ones, however at the same time it is one of the riskiest and dangerous ones out there.

Truth be told, most birth control pills for dogs are still in the experimental phase, and the ones that properly work are rare and very hard to come by. That being said, scammers and con artists have recently taken to exploit our love for our canine companions, and they chose dodgy pills, dangerous substances and cheap chemical solutions that they later market as birth control solutions for your dog.

So keep in mind that no matter how attractive that really low price is, or how desperate you might be, never ever buy anything for your dog that was not prescribed by a veterinarian.

Even so, before you decide that birth control pills are the solution for your dog, take a moment to think about this decision.

Dog care

It is true that the vast majority of “doggy pills” are mostly still in the experimental phase, however the ones that have already been released and can be found on the market have a very long and interesting list of potential side effects such as, but not limited to:

  • Infertility
  • Liver damage
  • Body odor
  • Personality change
  • Weight loss
  • The development of pyometra
  • Mammary gland enlargement
  • Mammary gland cancer
  • Adrenal gland suppression
  • Lethargy
  • Diabetes

As the dog’s owner, it is a normal thing to worry about this part of your dog’s life, and even though procreation is technically a good thing, there are scenarios as well as probabilities that either limit this process or downright restrict it, so whether we like it or not, or whether we agree with it or not, sometimes we have to bite the bullet and restrict the dog’s procreation abilities.

Why are people looking towards birth control solutions for their dogs?

Everyone has his or her own reasons for seeking canine birth control solutions, and most of them are actually really good ones. Some people can’t deal or even afford taking care of multiple puppies, or maybe the apartment or house that they live in is too small to accommodate them, or maybe they simply refuse to commit to taking care of extra puppies.

As stated above, everyone has his or her own reasons for it, and we will not judge them for these reasons. Probably one of the most valid reasons is the fact that the owners do not want to deal with the heat cycles that the animal goes through, which are significantly less intense after administering birth control pills for dogs than they would normally, while spaying and castrating dogs nullifies them all together.

A lot of puppies

Truth be told, these heat cycles can be hectic, unsanitary and incredibly annoying to deal with, and to top it all off some breeds actually fake being in heat from time to time.

One aspect that is being constantly ignored is the fact that there are some health issues that more or less force us to make this decision. In essence, most dog lovers don’t want to rob their dogs of the ability and right to procreate, however sometimes you might find yourself in the position where you are required to do so in order to save your dog’s life.

There will always be radical animal lovers out there that will more or less stigmatize you or make you a pariah if you administer birth control pills or sterilize your dog. Simply ignoring them and their radical ways is the best thing that you can do. Sometimes your hand is forced in order to do so, while other times you simply cannot stand seeing your dog in heat anymore. Either way it is your right and your choice to make, nobody else has the right to challenge you on this matter.

Acquiring birth control pills for dogs

There are a lot of ways in which you can acquire birth control pills for dogs, basically as long as you have the cash on hand you can buy them from pretty much anywhere. There is still an issue that you will have to deal with. How do you know that you are actually buying the proper pills and not something that will make your dog sick?

That’s right, there are a lot of scammers, con artists and other people out to make some quick money by exploiting the love that we have for our canine companions, and they will stop at nothing to do so, even if it involves hurting our dogs and making their life a living hell.

A lot of cons

That being said, it goes without saying that the internet is not to be trusted on this matter. Regardless of how the website presents itself, regardless of how many “credentials” it presents you with, regardless of how many “testimonials” it shoves in your face, the probability of it being a scam is too high to risk it, so you might as well close those tabs and forget about buying them online.

An argument can be made about the ones that the vet has prescribed for your dog and you simply having to purchase them or another batch because the previous one ran out, however even then the risk is too great and the odds are against you, so you might as well ask the vet to provide them for you.

Your safest bet here is purchasing them directly from the veterinarian that prescribed them in the first place, and there are 2 solid reasons for doing so.

  1. The veterinarian recommends and prescribes things that are clinically tested and approved in the first place.
  2. If the veterinarian prescribes you the wrong things and ends up hurting your dog, he or she will lose his or her job and be unable to find one, not to mention the fact that you can sue a veterinarian for malpractice. That being said, they will simply not risk it.

Most veterinarians either have said pills in stock or have suppliers that can supply them directly to the veterinarian, so actually finding them is not as hard as you may think.

Vet giving dog a pill

If for any reason the veterinarian cannot prescribe you or provide you with any birth control pills for your dog, the best thing that you can do is look for another veterinarian, unless it has something to do with the dog’s health, in which case you will simply have to tough it out.

Products and methods of administration

As stated earlier, there are not that many products on the market, and there is not much choice in the matter when it comes to birth control pills for dogs, however there are some products out there that deserve to be mentioned.

Cheque drops – this is an oral contraceptive and, at the same time, an anabolic steroid for dogs. The instructions, highly recommend starting the treatment with these pills 30 days before the dog goes into her heat cycle, meaning that you will have to calculate and predict when the next heat cycle will be, rather accurately.

Cheque drops

Cheque Drops can also be quite dangerous concoction for dogs, presenting the risk of a swarm of health issues and unwanted side effects. The only way it can be acquired is through veterinarian pharmaceutical labs with a clear prescription from the vet and a special order from the vet and the pharmacy.

Ovaban, also known as megestrol acetate – is a bit more forgiving with your dog’s health, because this one is actually a progestin. It is very similar to progesterone, and it is used in order to treat things like skin diseases and false pregnancy.

It is far less dangerous than a steroid; however it too comes with a hefty list of risks and problems which is why it is not recommended to be used for more than two consecutive heat cycles.

Most treatments require the administering of one pill per day for a set number of days. You can choose to administer the pills yourself, or take the dog to the vet every day and have the doctor administer the pill.

It is also very important to note that throughout the treatment, your dog will change her behavior, she will feel different, and she will be generally vulnerable, and this is when all the side effects and all the medical complications may occur.

As soon as something is wrong, as soon as you get the slightest hint that something is off, even the smallest doubt, stop the treatment. The vast majority of veterinarians actually give the same advice, and you should pay very close attention to your dog’s state throughout the treatment.

There are no actual ways of purging the effects of the treatment if it is stopped abruptly and prematurely, nor are there ways of reversing it, so it is far more important to frequently check your dog’s state and judge whether or not it would be wise to terminate the treatment instead of gambling with the wellbeing of your dog.

What are the places that you should never buy these pills from?

First off, stay away from small and shady shops that offer to sell them to you. These shops are either trying to sell you a “herbal alterative” which is basically sugar water and snake oil, ineffective and marked up just for the sake of profit, while others are trying to sell you something that might affect your dog in that matter, mostly because the product itself contains toxic substances and different chemical compounds that are not only uncertified but also very dangerous.

Second on our list is the internet, and ironically a lot of people feel a lot safer purchasing medicine on the internet than anywhere else. This scam begins the moment that you find a good looking site. The information is clear, concise and easy to understand. The website looks legitimate and you feel safe browsing it.

Birth control pills

There is usually one or two products listed on such a website, usually straight to the point birth control pills for dogs, without any information in regards to how they affect different breeds and what dogs it’s actually targeted towards.

A surefire way to see what you are dealing with is to look at the very bottom of the “contact” or “about” page. If you see any 3rd world country mentioned in there, or any shady organization, or both, simply close the page and go to your vet.

Regardless of the chosen product, the safest way to ensure your dog’s safety is to discuss the matter with a vet.

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.

  • MaryJohnson000

    Does anyone here have a firsthand experience on non-surgical spaying? What are the possible effects on dogs? Is it safer than spaying?

    • Non-surgical spaying is safe in general, but this should be consulted with the veterinarian if the option is applicable to your dog.

  • Robin James

    Of course, the most reliable method is surgery. But it is irreversible, what if in the future you will want your dog gave birth? In this case, use the pills.

  • Good point, Ralph. It is irreversible, so a sound decision must be made.

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