Each year, millions of healthy, friendly puppies are put to sleep because there's simply no one to care for them. If you're an animal lover, that in itself should be enough to make you do your part to prevent pet overpopulation. Here's a few facts that can help put your mind at ease: First, remember that these are dogs, not people. They don't raise their offspring, send them to college, or dote over the grandkids. A male dog doesn't even recognize his own pups. A female will nurse her pups for a few months, teach them doggie behavior, then send them out on their own. Dogs don't miss their reproductive function. A dog that's been spayed or neutered won't become fat and lazy unless you let them. Exercise and diet are the major factors in that. Finally, a dog that's been spayed or neutered WILL be a better pet. Males will be less likely to roam or mark their territory, and females won't go through unpleasant and messy sessions when they're in heat. The only reason not to have your dog spayed or neutered is if you have an exceptional member of a breed and plan to mate it for puppies. By the way, if you're having your dog fixed, the American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that you do it early, when the pup is between two and four months old. At that age, the dog will never know the difference.