Note to readers: We are well past April 1. This story, though somewhat unbelievable, is not a joke!
Inevitably there comes a time in a pet owner’s life when they feel guilt, whether it be over crating a puppy at night, bringing their pup to doggie daycare or something else relatively necessary and innocuous, like neutering a pet. And that’s where Neuticles, fake dog testicles, come in to play — and they’re here to stay it seems.
According to CNBC, Gregg Miller is the founder of Neuticles, which are silicone testicle implants for male dogs to replace what the vet has snipped away so that a dog is no longer able to procreate (and also to reduce aggressiveness and other canine hormonal issues). Since the company’s launch in the mid-’90s, Miller has become a millionaire.
On the Neuticles website, Miller says he created the product out of concern for his (former) dog Buck’s emotional health following the popular and practical procedure. Miller says that not long after, Buck went to clean himself and appeared perturbed, as if he noticed his “manhood” was missing.
“He loved to do that. The slurping noise that was so freaking obnoxious,” Miller told CNBC. He says the puppy looked back up at him as if to say, “‘They’re gone. What happened?'”
Soon thereafter, Miller created the product with the help of a veterinarian (who thought he was “crazy” at first, as did his family and many more people who refused to work with him) so that the look of a canine’s natural anatomy wouldn’t change post-surgery. They developed the prototype together, and by 1995 — after initial testing of the product on 30 different pets — the first commercial set of Neuticles was successfully implanted into a boy pup.
Over 20 years later, the company claims to have sold more than 500,000 sets of Neuticles, with the average pair setting a dog owner back about $310. However, some pairs cost much much more; today they can run as much as $469. Miller has even made a $2,800 “watermelon-sized custom set” for a zoo elephant.
Still, the original set of balls were hard, like plastic, and some customers complained about clunking noises when their dogs moved. Neuticles soon switched to soft silicone.
That said, curious dog people and concerned pet parents have many questions for the entrepreneur. Miller sets out to answer the majority of them, such as how many sizes do they come in, for what other species does he create them, can they leak or are they harmful, will any vet perform the implant procedure, and of course, are they returnable or refundable?
We, too, had questions about Neuticles, which are mainly musings about who the typical customer for this product is and why do they feel their dog needs a pair of artificial balls.
Once again, we turn to Miller’s website, where plenty of owner testimonials and reasons for choosing the product are featured. (And in case you’re wondering, yes, they mainly look to be written by men.)
“He’s a guy and I wanted him to remain looking like one.”
“A dog is like a kid — consideration for his feelings.”
“Just call me a caring pet owner.”
One family of customers, in particular, may interest PEOPLE readers: Miller claims that the Kardashians bought “the cheapest ones possible, the hard … clackers” for their dog Rocky a few years ago.
On a personal note, Miller’s bloodhound passed away several years ago, but he’s now the proud dad to a dog named Humphrey. The bulldog has also been neutered and, obviously, was implanted with a modern set of Neuticles.
In the long run, even though he truly believes that neutered dogs are aware of their missing manly parts, Miller admits that dog owners are the real customers.
“Let’s face it,” he tells CNBC, “the pet owner is the one who writes the check, so it’s more for the pet owner.”