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January 17, 2019

Condoms for dogs a promising, if old, idea

think I may have just proven the humourist Mark Twain right. In his autobiography, the fellow who gave us Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn wrote: “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible.” 

I’d thought of setting up a Kickstarter or crowdfunding campaign to fund the manufacture of condoms for dogs, followed by a training programme to teach them how and when to use them.

The idea came to me a couple of days ago, when I had to take our dog to get the snip and prevent him from getting puppies we could neither take care of nor bear to give away. If you are a pet lover with a finite budget, you will probably appreciate this more than most.

The decision to neuter him came after a lot of soul-searching, as well as the reality that the little fellow was growing up and his constant partner and playmate, who also happens to be his sister, was getting to the age when she would begin going on heat and, before we knew it, the inevitable would happen.

After going through the pros and cons with vets and other dog owners, we decided that neutering was the way to go with our little dog. The bitch would have to wait until after her first heat to be spayed.

The conversation had been very cerebral but we are human and at some point emotion would, and did, come into the equation, especially once we started reading up on everything that the euphemistically named “snip” would entail.

Unlike in humans, where vasectomy involves the severing then tying and sealing of your tubes to prevent sperm entering the seminal stream, in dogs, the procedure means that the testicles are removed. Now, as a guy, the thought of that happening made me squirm, but what to do? 

Nevertheless, after the operation at the dog hospital, the poor little thing, though all doped up with anaesthesia, managed to show agitation and aggression towards me when I went to collect him and bring him home. I must say I had complete empathy with the little dog.

Thankfully, all is well now and he is healing very nicely. However, the whole affair did get me thinking that dog condoms would be a great idea. I thought I’d check out the market before I got cracking and, sure enough, some bright spark beat me to it. Back in 2013, someone came up with  a product called “Animal instincts - pregnancy protection for dogs and cats”. 

Of course, the trick remains getting the animals to put it on before they get it on, but I won’t be surprised if that hurdle hasn’t been overcome. I only wish my vet had told me about this before I had my dog neutered. Perhaps you can try them with your dog and let me know how it works out.

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