Deciding to Spay or Neuter Your Dog
One of the most significant decisions you will have to make as a pet parent is whether you should get your dog spayed or neutered. While these surgeries offer many benefits, pet parents are often plagued by concerns over these common procedures. Below, our team provides information on why, when and what to expect if you do or do not get your dog fixed. Our hope is that this information will help you to make an informed decision about reproductive surgery for your fur baby.
Is getting my dog fixed safe?
Yes! Both spaying and neutering are considered to be safe for the majority of dogs over about five months of age, provided that they are in good health. Many veterinarians insist on performing a comprehensive examination and running basic diagnostic tests well ahead of time to verify that the dog is healthy enough to undergo general anesthesia. These pre-op examinations help to minimize the risks that are inherent in any surgery.
Why should I get my dog fixed?
Our veterinarians believe that spaying and neutering offer a number of benefits including:
Unplanned puppies can be difficult to find appropriate homes for, and many end up in animal shelters and rescue centers waiting to be loved. Getting your dog fixed, whether male or female, is a positive step towards reducing the number of homeless pets in your area.
A neutered dog is less likely to display undesirable behaviors such as dog aggression, roaming, and humping. A spayed dog no longer experiences heat cycles. This helps to reduce behaviors such as persistent howling, nervous pacing, and repeated attempts at escaping the home. Having your female dog spayed can also help to prevent neighborhood male dogs from prowling around your home.
Preventing these behaviors before they start, or minimizing them in older dogs, can help our canine friends feel more relaxed and contented at home. Often leading to a more harmonious relationship with other pets in the home and owners.
Spaying your female dog prevents severe uterine infections and significant;y reduces their risk of developing mammary tumors. Getting your male dog neutered prevents testicular cancer (depending on the type of neuter performed) and lowers the dog's risk of prostate problems. Some evidence also suggests that dogs that are fixed often lead longer, healthier lives.
Will getting my dog fixed make them fat or stunt their growth?
No. Getting your dog fixed does not inherently lead to weight gain or stunted growth. Metabolic changes naturally occur as puppies mature into adulthood. This means that it is essential to adjust their calorie intake and exercise routines to avoid excess weight gain while ensuring that they receive all of the essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow strong and healthy.
What is the best age to get a dog fixed?
Traditionally these reproductive surgeries were safely performed on puppies between 5 - 9 months old. These days, however, more and more veterinarians are recommending that the surgeries be delayed until the pet reaches sexual maturity.
Since different breeds reach maturity at different ages, it's important to consult your veterinarian for specific recommendations for your four-legged friend. Generally, toy breeds reach maturity early, at around 6 -9 months; medium to large breeds reach maturity at around a year old; and giant breed dogs reach maturity as late as 18 months of age.
That said, provided that your dog is healthy, you can get your adult dog fixed at any age.
How long will it take for my dog to recover after getting fixed?
Most dogs feel better after 24 - 48 hours, but it will take about 10 - 14 days for full recovery. You can help to speed up your dog's recovery and avoid complications by closely adhering to your veterinarian's post-op instructions.
Generally, pet parents will be asked to restrict their dog's activity, specifically preventing pets from running, jumping or climbing stairs. It will also be necessary to monitor the incision site and regularly check for signs of infection such as swelling, redness, discharge, or foul odour coming from the incision. If you have any concerns about your dog's recovery contact your veterinarian right away.