If you recently added a new adult dog or puppy to your home then you may be wondering if you should get them fixed and what the reasons would be. Today our Montecito veterinary surgeons share some things you should know about spay and neuter surgery for your dog as well as what the benefits are.
The Importance of Spay & Neuter Surgery For Your 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.
Spaying or neutering 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 is the Difference Between Spaying & Neutering?
To begin, it's important to understand what 'fixing your dog' actually means. 'Fixing' is the general term we use when talking about veterinary surgery used to spay or neuter a dog.
Female Dogs are Spayed
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 reproductive veterinary surgery in which your female dog has been spayed, she will not be able to have puppies.
Make Dogs are Neutered
For male dogs, neutering, or castration, involves the removal of both testicles and their associated structures. A male dog that has undergone veterinary surgery to be neutered will be unable to reproduce.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Having Your Dog Spayed or Neutered?
Besides reducing the risk of unwanted puppies, there are a variety of benefits of veterinary surgery such as spaying or neutering your dog.
Benefits of Neutering Dogs
Having your male dog neutered will protect your dog from developing testicular cancer and can also help reduce unwanted behaviors such as aggression, straying and humping.
Benefits of Spaying Dogs
Getting your female dog spayed can help to prevent serious health problems such as pyometra, (a potentially life-threatening uterine infection), and mammary cancer.
When is it Ideal to Have a Puppy Spayed or Neutered?
There are a number of factors that can influence the timing of these procedures. That said reproductive surgeries such as spaying and neutering can be done on puppies as young as a few months old. Traditionally, puppies were fixed when they were between 4 - 6 months old.
Speak to your veterinary surgeon in order to determine the best age to spay or neuter your dog.
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.