New dog owners frequently ask us if they should consider getting their puppy fixed. Our Thornton vets are here to explain how spaying or neutering your dog can not only prevent unwanted puppies, it can also be incredibly beneficial for behavioral and health issues.
Should you 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 vast number of unwanted puppies each year while improving your pet's behavior and reducing their risk of some serious health conditions.
What is the difference between spaying and neutering?
First, it's important to understand what 'fixing your dog' actually means. 'Fixing' is the term used 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.
Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Dog
Aside from the benefit of reducing unplanned puppies, there are plenty of other reasons to spay or neuter your dog.
Neutering helps to prevent male dogs from developing testicular cancer and can also help reduce unwanted behaviors such as aggression, humping, and straying.
Spaying your female dog can help to prevent serious health problems such as pyometra, (a potentially life-threatening uterine infection), and mammary cancer.
When Should You Get Your Dog Fixed?
There are a number of factors that can influence the timing of these procedures, however, both 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.
Talk to your vet about the right time to say or neuter your puppy.
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.