When To Spay And Neuter Your Pet
Happy Wednesday everyone! I was looking at Jake and Maggie today and thinking that in June they will be four years old. I remember asking the vet when was the earliest I could get them fixed as they were brother and sister, as well as, never wanting to breed them separately of course. When and why is the best age to Spay and Neuter Your Pet? There is so much information out there on the why’s and the when’s so I thought I’d compile this info into my post and let you decided. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this by commenting below!
When to Spay or Neuter Your Pet
Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Dog
- Significantly reduced risk of mammary cancer in females
- Prevents future health complications like pyometra – a potentially fatal uterine infection in female dogs
- Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer in males
- Prevents heat cycles (menstruation) in females that can produce unwanted behaviors such as barking or howling, aggressive, attempts to escape
- Prevents unwanted behaviors in male dogs such as humping, vocalization, aggression, escape attempts, and marking inside the home
- Helps to control animal overpopulation by eliminating accidental pregnancies/litters
Debunking Spay/Neuter Myths and Misconceptions
- Spaying or neutering will not cause your pet to become overweight. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering.
- Neutering is not a quick fix for all behavior problems. Although neutering your pet often reduces undesirable behaviors caused by a higher level of testosterone, there’s no guarantee that your dog’s behavior will change after he’s neutered. Although the surgery will reduce the amount of testosterone in your dog’s system, it won’t eliminate the hormone completely. Neutering will also not reduce behaviors that your pet has learned or that have become habitual. The effects of neutering are largely dependent on your dog’s individual personality, physiology and history.
Unless you plan to responsibly breed your dog or your dog has health issues that would make the procedure more complicated, it’s always a good choice to spay or neuter your dog! The benefits outweigh any risks and can lead to a longer, healthier life for your pup to spend with you!
If you decide to spay or neuter your pet, you have options. Discuss the options with your veterinarian so you can make a decision that’s right for you, your family and your pet.
During surgical sterilization, a veterinarian removes certain reproductive organs.
- Ovariohysterectomy, or the typical “spay”: the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus are removed from a female dog or cat. This makes her unable to reproduce and eliminates her heat cycle and breeding instinct-related behavior.
- Orchiectomy, or the typical “neuter”: the testes are removed from a male dog or cat. This makes him unable to reproduce and reduces or eliminates male breeding behaviors.
Surgical alternatives to traditional spaying and neutering
The procedures described above are the surgical procedures routinely used to spay or neuter dogs, but some pet owners opt for one of these alternatives:
- Hysterectomy: the uterus and part of the fallopian tubes are removed from a female dog or cat. This makes her unable to reproduce, but her ovaries remain and will produce hormones. This may not eliminate the dog or cat’s behaviors associated with the breeding instinct.
- Vasectomy: only the vas deferens, which conducts sperm from the testes, are removed. This procedure makes the dog or cat unable to reproduce, but his testes remain and will produce hormones. This may not eliminate the dog or cat’s behaviors associated with the breeding instinct.
- Ovariectomy: the ovaries are removed from a female dog or cat, but the uterus remains. Similar to ovariohysterectomy, this makes her unable to reproduce and eliminates her heat cycle and breeding instinct-related behavior.
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