At what age can you spay or neuter a dog?

April 13, 2012

Spaying and neutering are terms used to indicate sterilization of pet animals. Spaying is the process of removing a female dog’s uterus and ovaries while neutering is performed on male dogs to remove his testicles.

The thought of undergoing surgery may make many of us cringe while considering spaying/ neutering our dog. Also, the thought of not allowing the dog to experience having puppies or allowing mating make us stay away from going ahead.

Therefore the question that comes to the mind is that whether spaying/neutering is necessary and if so, how beneficial is it.

Benefits of spaying

Spaying avoids your dog from having puppies that may end up as strays on the streets and adding to the high population of strays that are already present. This is one of the biggest advantages of the procedure if you are not interested in allowing your dog to breed.

Spaying when performed early reduces the risk of many cancers and the chances of uterine infections that can occur later in life. It avoids mood swings that your dog can show when she is in estrous (heat).

Benefits of neutering

Neutering reduces the chances of your dog increasing the population of strays by avoiding mating unknown to you. Many health problems can be eliminated. Some of the risks that can be reduced are the chances of developing prostate cancer and testicular disease.

Again, mood swings are not seen in a neutered pet and your dog would bring down the roof and the desire to break free when a female dog in heat passes by. Neutering reduces the aggression that the dog would show if the procedure was not done. The dog will be calmer and will be less likely to attack other pets and children.

Myths about spaying/neutering

It is not essential for every dog to experience mating and have puppies. If your thoughts about spaying/ neutering your dog have to do with moral issues, then you should set it aside considering the health of your dog and the other advantages of the procedure. Also, if you are worried about surgery, this procedure is not dangerous or painful and is usually done without any risks.

There is a belief that the dog gains weight after the procedure but this is not true. This is many a times seen because of the dog not getting proper exercise after the procedure has been performed and not because of the procedure itself.

Many people have male dogs for safety and believe neutering reduces the capability of the dog to provide protection as aggression is reduced. This is however, not true. These dogs will be more affectionate at the same time perform the activities of a good watch dog when needed.

Ideal age to spay/neuter

Experts believe and advise that neutering has to be done at a very young age (around 6 months of age) just prior to the dog reaching puberty. The longer the delay in performing the procedure, the higher the possibility of the dog experiencing health and behavioral problems as they grow older.

Therefore, even though the procedure can be undertaken at any age, it is best to do it as early as possible for your dog to reap maximum benefits and you to get a better and well behaved dog.

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