New dog owners often wonder if they should get their puppy fixed. Today, our Mooresville vets explain how spaying or neutering your dog not only helps to prevent unplanned puppies, it can also benefit your dog's health and may prevent some unwanted behaviors.
Why You Should Get Your Dog Fixed
For many people, the decision on whether or not to get their dog fixed is a difficult one, filled with angst and emotion. But it's important to remember that spaying and neutering are very common surgeries that our vets perform on a regular basis, and involve a very low level of risk.
Having your dog fixed can protect your pet against a range of potentially life-threatening conditions and in some cases, these procedures can reduce the incidence of undesirable behaviors. Oh, and then there's that small question of preventing unwanted puppies...
Approximately 3.3 million dogs enter shelters every year across the USA according to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Spaying or neutering your pup is the best way for you to help reduce the overall number of unplanned puppies, in turn also helping to reduce the number of unwanted dogs that are euthanized every year.
The Difference Between Spaying & Neutering
To begin it's important to understand what 'fixing your dog' actually means. 'Fixing' is the blanket term we use when talking about surgeries that are performed to make a pet sterile and unable to produce babies.
Spaying Female Dogs
- Spaying entails the removal of a female dog's reproductive organs through either an ovariohysterectomy (removal of both uterus and ovaries) 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 father puppies.
Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Dog
Besides reducing the risk of unwanted puppies, there are a number of other benefits to getting your dog fixed.
- Neutering helps to prevent male dogs from developing testicular cancer and can also help reduce unwanted behaviors such as dog-on-dog aggression, roaming and humping.
- Spaying your female dog can help to prevent serious health problems such as pyometra, (a potentially life-threatening uterine infection), and mammary cancer.
When You Should You Get Your Dog Spayed or Neutered
Although the optimal timing for these procedures is hotly contested, puppies are traditionally 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.