A Chastity Belt for Dogs?
It might sound like a 15th century solution to a 21st century problem, but amid the clamor for pet owners to get their dogs spayed or neutered and prevent unwanted litters comes a device that’s basically a chastity belt for female dogs.
Dexter Blanch, owner of Shreveport, La.-based Highly Favored Creations, invented the PABS Delay Her Spay pet breeding-prevention harness, as a fabric patch to cover a female dog’s nether region; affixed using a series of straps.
If pet owners knew of the problems linked to early spaying, Blanch said, they might be inclined to welcome PABS as a stopgap until their dogs are older. He cited studies that point to the possibility of shorter life spans, joint disorders and increased cancer risk in female dogs spayed before 18 months old.
The dog-owning public has been slow to embrace PABS, which Blanch launched in 2013 as a way to protect one of his favorite female hunting dogs, who he might want to breed one day, from randy males.
“Perhaps … the proponents of traditional early spay and neuter practices don’t trust American pet owners to be responsible,” he said.
Blanch is starting to get results after ringing the bell loudly and often through blogs, social media and word of mouth.
“Since we began our efforts to educate, we have seen an increase in attention from media outlets and increased sales from pet owners,” he noted.
The campaign has generated an uptick in sales in Australia and other countries where Blanch said pet owners “have a different way of controlling pet overpopulation and a different attitude toward a dog’s health.”
The latest PABS design was tested on dogs by Renita Marshall, DVM, MS, an animal reproductive scientist at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. She found the device 98 percent effective in preventing unwanted breeding.
The tests were conducted using multiple breeds and in various settings. Any failures were attributed mostly to incorrect fittings, Blanch said.
PABS is easy to clean and allows urine to pass through the mesh. The patch rides low enough that the dog can defecate over the top of it, he said.