When to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

When to spay or neuter your pet depends upon what your intentions are. If you are planning on breeding the animal, then the obvious answer is that you will not, at least not in the early years. There will come a time however when you will want to have this done. The reasons do not have to simply be to prevent new litters either.



The fact is, many vets recommend that spaying or neutering your pet be done as early as possible, and the reasons are more than just preventing the possibility of strays. It female animals, spaying is recommended as it significantly reduces the chance of onset of uterine cancer and other problems in your pet.


In males, neutering will significantly reduce the wandering urge in your pet, which can ultimately lead to him getting into fights and badly hurt or even killed by another, as with animal fights, the fight often goes on until one have died. For those living in a setting where there is heavy traffic, the wandering urge also becomes a problem, because there’s the added risk of your pet being hit by an automobile.


Then of course there is the obvious reason – the massive over-population of pets causes a heavy burden on local animal shelters, and pets ultimately have to be euthanized because these animals are hard to place with adoptive families. Most families want puppies that are often neglected as they grow older, and are no longer “cute” little babies.



When to spay or neuter your pet as recommended by most veterinarians can be as early as 6 weeks of age. However, as previously mentioned, it can be done anytime, so those who may wish to breed their pets can set a date themselves, after their pet has had say, 2 or 3 litters.


The procedure is a relatively fast one, though it is considered to be a major surgery. In the female of the species, it involves surgically removing the ovaries and uterus. In the male, which is perhaps an easier operation, the testicles are surgically removed. In any case, the surgeries are routine these days, and your pet will be out and about again in no time flat.


For those who plan on having their pet spayed, and are waiting for the first heat cycle to pass, this is a myth. There is no reason, though I have personally heard it said time and again, to wait for the first heat cycle. If you are going to have it done, there is no reason to wait and you just as well go ahead and have it done.


The same thing applies when you are having your male dog neutered. There is no reason to wait, and it is perhaps better for him even if you get it done while he is young. For breeds known to be aggressive, it is proven that these dogs are less aggressive, because when they have been neutered, the body stop producing testosterone, which is found in males and is known to cause aggressive behavior.

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Veterinary Care for Older Pets

As dogs age, they age differently according to size. Typically, the smaller your dog is the longer his lifespan will be. For example, when your dog reaches the age of 7, and if he is less than 20 pounds he would compare to a human of the age of 40 while a dog weighing in at 20-50 pounds would compare to the human age of 47. Therefore, their levels of care will be different as well.

Read More About Medical Care for Older Pets »

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