The first question that may come to any dog owner’s mind when his puppy hits puberty: When should puppies be neutered? And most importantly, does neutering the dog really help him? And how can it benefit him in the long run?
“Short answer, there is not a specific age your dog must be neutered. However, vets advised that the surgery should be done between 6 and 9 months old. While Males can be neutered as early as eight weeks old, it’s best to wait until he is six months to make sure that he will bear the surgery. Make sure your dog isn’t allergic to anesthetics before carrying out the surgery to make sure that no problems will happen.”
First of all, lots of people have many contradicting opinions on this matter. While you may find one piece of advice more persuasive than another, I ask you to keep your mind open and listen to all the opinions and then choose the best for your puppy.
What Is The Best Age to Neuter a puppy
Until now, scientists didn’t find a definite answer in this matter. However, all the vets advise that it should be done before the dog reaches one year! Some of them say, if your dog was a female, then do it around six months old and before she has her first heat cycle.
However, others say that it’s best to wait until she finishes her heat cycle so that you are sure that she is already mature.
A lot of contradicting opinions, but let me summarize what I see the best. Based on my researches, I found that 94% of the vets and scientists assure that the dog must be spayed before one year old.
Male dogs can be spayed after they hit eight weeks; however, it’s best to wait until they hit 4-5 months so that they are healthy.
Female dogs are best to be spayed before they hit six months. However, the older your dog becomes, the more it is subjectable to the diseases mentioned below. So generally, plan with your vet to spay your dog before he/she hits one year old.
Why should we neuter puppies?
First of all, spaying helps to control the “Bad Breeding” habits. Many people expect that Golden Retrievers are going to extinct in 50 years due to bad breading in many countries.
This breeding result in puppies who are not healthy. For example, my dog Kira has a genetic Hip Displaysia due to uncontrolled breeding.
Besides that, there are lots of medical and behavioral benefits for breeding your puppy (especially if your puppy was male) that I summarized in the following table:
|Behavioral Benefits||Medical Benefits|
|1- Fixes a lot of behavioral problems due to the need to mate.||1- Spaying Male dogs prevent testicular cancer.|
|2- Stops the aggression in male dogs who fight to mate with a female dog.||2- Spaying Female Dogs prevent Mammary Glads Cancer.|
|3- Stops the humping behavior by male dogs.||3- Spaying Help your pets to live a healthy life without having any mood adjustments.|
|4- Stops the male dogs from urinating inside the house to determine their places.|
|5- You won’t carry the weight of organizing your home for your dog during her heat cycle.|
There are a lot of benefits, but I gave the most important ones.
How does spaying occur?
Spaying for males is pretty straightforward and way easier than a female. You have a lot of options here:
- Ovariohysterectomy: That’s the traditional way that a female dog will have her uterus removed. She won’t be able to reproduce any ovaries, and she won’t have another heat cycle.
She has to be anesthetized to carry out this surgery.
However, make sure that your vet makes the necessary tests to prove that your dog isn’t allergic to anesthetics because some dogs can have lots of problems.
- Orchiectomy: This is the typical neuter method for males, which is a lot easier. Some vets do it without even giving the male dog anesthetic. The vet just removes the testes in a certain way.
There is a lot of alternatives to these traditional surgeries. However, if your dog is healthy, carry out the conventional operation because it’s the best right now. Anyway, you can find those alternatives here.
Cons Of Spaying:
Spaying is excellent and has a lot of pros and minimal drawbacks. However, take care and read thoroughly the next lines; the disadvantages include:
- Anesthetics Allergy: As I said, if your dog is allergic and he took anesthetics, he/she could die. Also, make sure that the vet is well-known because extra doses of anesthetics might kill as well.
- Possible Hormonal Imbalance: This is not common at all. Sometimes, pets can suffer from Hormonal Imbalance for several months. It’s more common in males. However, if you found that he is still humping a lot, you can let him mate another female (there won’t be puppies) so that you can end this imbalance.
preparing your dog for surgery:
There is not much you will do before surgery. The vet will give you a set of instructions to follow, like preventing the food and water before the surgery, some tips on nutrition, etc.
Generally, each vet has his own perspectives, and he will perform a set of tests to make sure that your pet is ready to have the operation.
Helping your dog after surgery
This is the most crucial part. Understand that your puppy or dog might not be comfortable after the surgery. He/she will be weird, move randomly, might suffer from depression. However, some tips will be as follow:
- Don’t let your dog play with any other pets because it might be dangerous.
- Don’t let him/her play in the water or any lake, and don’t bathe him/her.
- Don’t allow your pet to lick the place of injury.
- Provide your pet with emotional support if you found him/her sad.
- Make sure your pet is comfortable and try to make him stay away from the noise.
- Don’t overplay with your pet until your vet accepts.
- Ask your vet about the best nutrition program for him/her.
These are the essential tips. However, don’t worry, this only lasts two weeks
Now, I decided to answer some of the critical questions about dog spaying/neutering:
1- Does Spaying Fix All the Behavioral Problems?
Of course, no. Spaying helps your dog become calmer, and if your male dog were roaming out of the house or aggressive with other dogs because he wanted to mate a female, then it would help you.
However, things like Separation Anxiety and boredom aren’t related to spaying at all. However, spaying can help a lot in Dominance Issues.
2- Does Spaying cause overweightness?
No, no, no. When Puppies/Dogs are spayed, they become lethargic in the first two weeks because they have just got out of surgery.
That’s why when you feed them large quantities without exercise, they will gain weight. That doesn’t mean spaying cause your dog to gain weight on its own.
3- Is spaying cruel?
A lot of people feel guilty and say that it’s the right of their dogs to mate and have puppies. However, when you limit your male to only one-time mating in a year or two, you aren’t comforting him.
Instead, you are making him aggressive and trying to mate any female girl that he meets. Also, you are allowing for Cancers as well as unhealthy puppies to exist, which is cruel.
4- Did I spray my dog?
Not yet. Kira is a large dog (2 years old), and she isn’t spayed yet. That’s because she has a lot of hormonal issues that need to be fixed first. However, I am planning to do it this year.
Spaying your puppy might be one of the best decisions in the long run for both of you. It will help your puppy to become calmer and possibly have fewer behavioral issues. It will also help you not to worry about your female dog during her heat.
While there is no scientific paper or research that says the best age for spaying a dog, all the vets agreed that from 6-9 months is the best period ever.
Hope you enjoyed reading the article, make sure to check our latest puppy series here. And stay tuned for more articles.