2022/11/28 - Products

Latin america: neutering of male dogs evolves

visu_LATAM_vignette_corpo.jpgPet reproduction control habits vary from one country to another. In Latin America, 60 to 70% of male dogs are not castrated, often because dog owners are concerned about the surgery and its possible consequences. Alternative solutions exist and are available in a growing number of countries in this area. Danilo Martinez, our Latin America pet marketing manager at Virbac, tells us more.

What is the dog’s place in the family, in Latin America? 
The dog occupies a central place in most households, especially among urban populations. It is the favorite companion of Mexicans for example (85% of pets), which represents about 20 million individuals. We observe the same trend in Brazil, where there are 55 million dogs. Globally in the area, the dog is considered as a member of the family. This is what 67% of Mexicans and 77% of Colombians said when asked about the subject. And it is even more true in Brazil: we discovered that a third of the owners interviewed consider their pet as their own child. 

Is pet neutering a common practice?
First of all, let's remember that neutering habits are very different from one part of the world to another. In Anglo-Saxon countries, castrating a male dog is a responsible and almost systematic act. In the United States, we observe that neutering is even mandatory in some states. On the other hand, in other countries such as Germany, surgical castration can only be performed on medical grounds. In Latin America, 30 to 40% of dogs are neutered, mostly by surgery (84 to 95%). 

What are the obstacles for Latin American pet owners? 
Despite that local veterinary surgeons consider surgical castration as a routine act (59% of dogs are castrated on their recommendation), 30% to 40% of dog owners perceive more risks than benefits in it. In a recent survey we conducted on neutering, owners of intact male dogs said to be concerned about the risks of anesthesia, the cost of the procedure and the physical and the psychological consequences of surgery on their pet. Overall for the Latin American area, the availability of safe and effective non-surgical neutering options for pets is still very new and not yet well-known by veterinarians and owners. 

Non-surgical solutions exist? 
Indeed, our reversible neutering solution has been available for a few years in Mexico and Uruguay. It is now also available to vets and male dog owners in Colombia. From May 3 to June 5, 2022, our local team presented to a group of 300 veterinarians this alternative and ethical option for managing male dog fertility and undesirable behavior. We are also continuing our efforts to make it available to more vets and male dog owners in Latin America; starting with Brazil most probably for 2023.