Spaying or neutering your puppy has many benefits. It prevents unplanned pregnancies, curbs unwanted behaviors, and reduces disease risk. In this article, our Weldon Spring vets walk you through what you need to know about having your puppy undergo one of these procedures.
Why should I get my dog fixed?
If you've got a new puppy and you're wondering whether to get them spayed or neutered, it's worth considering. This is especially important if your dog is mostly on a leash during walks or in your yard.
There are several good reasons to have your dog fixed. It can bring important health, behavior, and potentially money-saving advantages!
Benefits of Spaying Female Dogs
Across the United States, animal shelters are filled with dogs. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (the ASPCA) estimates that 3.3 million dogs are a part of the shelter system in America each year.
Health Benefits of Spaying Your Dog
Spaying your female dog before she reaches her first "heat" can help curb diseases like uterine infections and breast tumors, both of which can cause cancer.
Financial Benefits of Spaying Your Dog
Preventing the birth of unwanted puppies is good for your pocketbook. While there is a fee for spaying, this fee is relatively low when compared to the cost of caring for a pregnant dog, calling a vet for the birth of the puppies, and caring for newborns.
Deciding Not To Spay Your Female Dog
When female dogs aren't spayed, they go into a reproductive stage often known as "heat." This stage can cause male dogs to be attracted to your pup for up to 18 days. This can lead to unwanted visits from male dogs while out for walks or in your yard and can also result in an unwanted litter of puppies.
Benefits of Neutering Male Dogs
Just like spaying female dogs, neutering your male dog also helps reduce the number of unwanted dogs in the United States.
Health Benefits of Neutering Your Dog
By neutering your dog, you are helping to eliminate the risk of tentacular cancer for them. You are able to significantly curb the risk of prostate diseases (which can be quite serious). Neutering also helps to prevent undesirable behaviors and conditions like perineal tumors and hernias.
Behavioral Benefits of Neutering Your Dog
Neutering can help to curb your dog's desire to roam and may help to reduce behaviors such as mounting and aggression towards other dogs.
Deciding Not To Neuter Your Male Dog
When a male dog isn't neutered, it might show some unwanted behaviors. These can include being more territorial, getting possessive of toys and people, acting aggressively towards other dogs, and wandering around, especially when looking for female dogs.
When to Get Your Puppy Fixed
Typically, puppies are spayed or neutered between five to nine months of age. Adult dogs can also be spayed or neutered. Consult your vet to find out when you should get your dog fixed.
What to Expect When Getting Your Puppy Fixed
Your vet will give you detailed instructions before your pet's surgery. These will include guidelines on what your pet eats and drinks before the procedure.
After the surgery is completed, your vet will provide you with post-operative instructions for helping your dog to recover comfortably. Pain medication may also be sent home with your dog, depending on when the procedure is being performed.
Usually, female dogs take longer to recover after being spayed than male dogs after being neutered.
After a female has been spayed, she is considered to be sterile and will not be able to have puppies.
It's important to remember that male dogs aren't considered sterile immediately after they have undergone a neuter. It can take up to 6 weeks for them to be safely considered sterile.