Having a spayed or neutered dog prevents an unwanted litter, but can also help to curb undesirable behaviors and even reduce the risk of certain diseases. Here, our Perry vets share what you need to know about getting your puppy fixed.
Why should I get my dog fixed?
If you have a new puppy, you may be wondering why you should spay or neuter your dog, especially if your dog will be on-leash during walks and otherwise restricted to your home and garden.
There are many reasons to have your dog fixed, including some significant health benefits, behavioral benefits, and possibly even financial benefits!
Benefits of a Female Spayed Dog
Across the United States, animal shelters are overflowing with unwanted dogs. Each year, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that approximately 3.3 million dogs enter shelters.
Health Benefits of Spaying Your Dog
Spaying your female dog before her first 'heat' can help to prevent uterine infections and breast tumors which can often be malignant or cancerous.
Financial Benefits of Spaying Your Dog
Preventing the birth of unwanted puppies is economical. While there is a fee for spaying, it is minimal in comparison to the cost of caring for a pregnant dog, summoning a veterinarian for the puppies' birth, and caring for newborns.
Deciding Not To Spay Your Female Dog
Female dogs that are not spayed go through a reproductive stage known as 'heat' approximately twice a year. Male dogs will be attracted to your female for approximately 18 days during this stage. This can result in unwanted male dogs and possibly unwanted puppies visiting your yard.
Benefits of Male Neutered Dog
As with spaying female dogs, when you neuter your male dog you help to reduce the population of unwanted dogs in the United States.
Health Benefits of Neutering Your Dog
By neutering your dog, you eliminate their risk of developing testicular cancer and significantly lower their risk of developing potentially fatal prostate diseases. Neutering also helps to reduce your dog's risk of developing perianal tumors and perineal hernias.
Behavioral Benefits of Neutering Your Dog
Neutering can help to curb your dog's desire to roam and may help to reduce behaviors such as mounting and aggression towards other dogs.
Deciding Not To Neuter Your Male Dog
Male dogs that have not been neutered exhibit a variety of undesirable behaviors. These behaviors include increased territoriality, excessive guarding of people and toys, roaming (in search of female dogs), and aggression toward other dogs.
When to Get Your Puppy Fixed
Typically, puppies are spayed or neutered between five to nine months of age. Adult dogs can also be spayed or neutered. Consult your vet to find out when you should get your dog fixed.
What to Expect When Getting Your Puppy Fixed
Your vet will provide you with detailed pre-surgical instructions which may include restricting your pet's food and water before the scheduled surgery.
Following surgery, your veterinarian will provide you with post-operative instructions on how to assist your dog in recovering comfortably. Depending on the procedure performed, your dog may be sent home with pain medication.
Generally, female dogs take longer to recover after being spayed than male dogs after being neutered.
Once a female has been spayed, she is considered sterile and unable to have puppies.
It is important to note that male dogs are not considered sterile immediately following surgery! It can take as long as 6 weeks for a neutered male to be considered sterile.