I have discussed it with my vet. I'm sure you know, things have changed over the years. My 10 1/2 year old (who started with a different vet) was neutered at 7 months. Something that makes me sad now. My next girl, who is 4 years 8 months had a laparoscopic ovariectomy after going absolutely nutso with a false pregnancy. We (and the other dogs) just couldn't deal with that. My youngest, 4 yo, is unspayed, and we have no pending plans of changing that. We will deal with it when/if there is a solid reason to do so, not "just because". Her heats are easy, Havanese are at low risk for both pyo and malignant mammary tumors, and I have my hands on her regularly. My vet has been in agreement with these decisions for the girls.
I am not militant about it. I think every family should feel comfortable deciding what is best for them and each dog in their household. The only one I have regrets about is Kodi, my oldest. If I'd known more then, I would have done things differently.
As far as vaccines are concerned, I believe in a minimal vaccine protocol. Again, Kodi got too much because I didn't know enough. The girls each got 2 puppy distemper and parvo shots, and have had only mandatory Rabies since. (just titers for distemper and parvo beyond that) Kodi is now on a Rabies waiver because of a severe reaction. My vet won't touch him with ANY vaccine! LOL!
I also use as LITTLE other chemicals as I can on them and still protect them against heartworm and TBD
. We live at ground zero for Lyme and other TBD
, so we do need to be careful. But we MOSTLY use management. We might use Advantix once or twice a season if we are heading into a heavily tick-infested area on a camping vacation. They get Interceptor starting in June, every 6 weeks, and ending in November. We titer for TBD
twice a year, and for heartworm in the spring before re-starting the Interceptor.
That's the balance we've chosen and it works for us. But I think everyone needs to educate themselves and make their own decisions based on their area, their breed, and their own situation.