If you're a new pet parent you may be wondering whether you should get your dog fixed, it's a question many dog owners ask our Charlotte vets. Today we look at some of the reasons why you should have your dog fixed and at what age your dog should be spayed or neutered.
Why It's Important To Get Your Dog Fixed
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.
Difference Between Spay & Neuter
To begin, it's important to understand what 'fixing your dog' actually means. 'Fixing' is the general term we use when talking about spaying or neutering a dog.
Spaying Female Dogs
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.
Neutering Male Dogs
For male dogs, neutering, or castration, involves the removal of both testicles and their associated structures. A neutered dog is unable to reproduce.
Health & Behavioral Benefits to Getting Your Dog Fixed
Besides reducing the risk of unwanted puppies, there are a number of other benefits to spaying or neutering your dog.
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.
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 to Get Your Puppy Fixed
There are a number of factors that can influence the timing of these procedures. That said 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 vet 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.