Having your dog spayed or neutered prevents unwanted litters, but can also help to curb undesirable behaviors and even reduce the risk of certain diseases. Here, our San Gabriel 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 might be wondering why you should get your dog spayed or neutered, particularly if your dog will be on-leash during walks and otherwise confined to your home and garden.
In point of fact, there are a lot of reasons to get your dog spayed or neutered, some of the most important of which are the health benefits, the behavioral benefits, and even the potential financial benefits.
Benefits of Spaying Female Dogs
Across America, animal shelters are filled with unwanted dogs. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 3.3 million dogs pass through shelters each year.
Health Benefits of Spaying Your Dog
If you have a female dog and you want to prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are often malignant or cancerous, you should have your dog spayed before she goes through her first 'heat.'
Financial Benefits of Spaying Your Dog
Preventing the birth of unwanted puppies is good for your pocketbook. While there is a fee for spaying, this fee is relatively low when compared to the cost of caring for a pregnant dog, calling a vet to the birth of the puppies, and caring for newborns.
Deciding Not To Spay Your Female Dog
When female dogs are not spayed, they go through a reproductive stage often referred to as 'heat' about twice a year. During this stage, male dogs will be attracted to your female for about 18 days. This can lead to unwanted male dogs visiting your yard and possibly unwanted puppies.
Benefits of Neutering Male Dogs
When you neuter your male dog, you are contributing to the reduction of the number of unwanted dogs in the United States, just as you would be if you spayed your female dog.
Health Benefits of Neutering Your Dog
By neutering your dog, you eliminate the risk of them developing testicular cancer and significantly reduce the risk of prostate diseases which can be serious. Neutering also helps to reduce the risk of perianal tumors and perineal hernias in your dog.
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
There are a number of undesirable behaviors that are typical of male dogs that have not been neutered. These include heightened territorial behavior, being over-protective of people and toys, roaming (seeking female dogs), and aggression towards other dogs.
When to Get Your Puppy Fixed
In most cases, the procedure of spaying or neutering a puppy takes place between the ages of five and nine months. Spaying and neutering are also options for adult dogs. If you are unsure of the appropriate time to have your dog spayed or neutered, consult your veterinarian.
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.
Once the surgery is complete your vet will provide you with post-operative instructions for helping your dog recover comfortably. Depending on which procedure has been performed, pain medication may be sent home with your dog.
Generally, female dogs take longer to recover after being spayed than male dogs after being neutered.
When a female dog is spayed, the procedure renders her sterile and prevents her from having puppies in the future.
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.