There are many health and behavioral benefits to spaying or neutering your dog. Today, our Weldon Spring vets explain more about spaying or neutering, and how it can benefit your puppy.
When should I spay or neuter my dog?
As long as your dog is healthy, spaying or neutering can be done at almost any age. That said, the most common age for getting puppies fixed is six to nine months.
What is spaying?
Your female dog will no longer be able to have puppies after she has been spayed because the reproductive organs will have been removed by the veterinarian.
What is neutering?
During the neutering procedure for male dogs, the testes are surgically removed in order to achieve sterilization of the animal. Your dog will no longer be able to father puppies after he or she has been neutered.
What are the benefits of spaying or neutering my dog?
If you spay your female dog before she goes through her first heat, you can help her live a long and healthy life by lowering her risk of developing serious health conditions such as breast cancer and uterine infections. You can do this by performing the procedure on your dog before she goes into heat for the first time.
Spayed female dogs won't go into heat if the surgery is done while they are young. Female dogs who are not spayed typically go into heat every six months, for approximately 2 - 4 weeks. While your female dog is in heat she will excrete a bloody vaginal discharge and may seem edgy, clingy, or jumpy.
You can reduce the risk of your dog developing testicular cancer and certain prostate problems by having him neutered at an early age. Male dogs that have been neutered are less likely to wander or try to flee the house in search of females than unaltered male dogs are. If your dog is allowed less freedom to roam, it will be less likely to get into fights with other male dogs or be involved in car accidents, both of which can cause serious injuries.
When male dogs are not neutered, they have a greater propensity to mark their territory by urinating inside the home, mount other dogs or people, and behave more aggressively toward other canine companions.
In the long run, spaying or neutering your puppy could save you money by avoiding costs associated with litters of puppies, treatment for illnesses that could have been avoided by fixing your dog, and treatment of injuries due to roaming and fighting.
Less Pet Overpopulation
The importance of reducing the number of unwanted puppies cannot be overstated. Shelters across the USA are filled with homeless and unwanted dogs. If all pet owners spayed and neutered their dogs, there would be fewer dogs relying on shelters. Fewer unwanted puppies will help to reduce the number of animals living on the streets, and fewer euthanizations.