Are you wondering whether getting your dog fixed is worth the hassle and the cost? In today's post, our Modesto vets discuss the benefits of getting your dog spayed or neutered and the best age to get your dog fixed.
Why should I spay or neuter my dog?
According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), approximately 3.3 million dogs enter shelters every year across the USA.
Getting your dog fixed your dog is the best way for you to help reduce the overall number of unplanned puppies each year while improving your pet's behavior and reducing their risk of some serious health conditions.
What do spay and neuter surgeries entail?
Let's start by defining exactly what 'getting your dog fixed' actually means. 'Fixing' is a generic term used when talking about spaying or neutering a dog.
Female Dogs - Spaying
Spaying entails the removal of a female dog's reproductive organs through either an ovariohysterectomy (both uterus and ovaries are removed) or an ovariectomy (only the ovaries are removed). After your female dog has been spayed she will not be able to have puppies.
Male Dogs - Neutering
For male dogs, neutering, or castration, involves the removal of both testicles and their associated structures. A neutered dog is unable to reproduce.
How can these reproductive surgeries benefit my dog?
As well as reducing the risk of unwanted puppies, there are a number of other benefits to spaying or neutering your dog.
Neutering your male dog can help to protect your pup against developing testicular cancer and can also help reduce unwanted behaviors such as aggression, straying and humping.
Having your female dog spayed can help to prevent serious health problems such as pyometra, (a potentially life-threatening uterine infection), and mammary cancer.
What's the best age to get a dog fixed?
There are a number of factors that can influence the timing of these procedures, however, both spaying and neutering can be done on puppies as young as a few months old.
Up until recently, most puppies were fixed when they were between 4 - 6 months old. Recently however some veterinarians have begun recommending that these operations be done after the dog reaches sexual maturity between 6 - 12 months of age.
Dogs of different breed sizes mature at significantly different ages (generally small dogs reach maturity at a younger age), so it's always best to check with your veterinarian to determine the best time to have your dog spayed or neutered.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.