If you have a new puppy then you may be wondering if you should have them spayed or neutered. Here, our Benton vets explain what spaying or neutering is, how it benefits your dog and when you should have it done.
Why You Should 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 overall number of unplanned puppies each year while improving your pet's behavior and reducing their risk of some serious health conditions.
The difference between Spaying and Neutering
First, it's important to understand what 'fixing your dog' actually means. 'Fixing' is the blanket term we use 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.
How Spaying or Neutering Benefits your Dog
Besides reducing the risk of unwanted puppies, there are a number of other benefits to spaying or neutering your dog.
Neutering helps to prevent male dogs from developing testicular cancer and can also help reduce unwanted behaviors such as aggression, straying 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 is Best to Spay or Neuter Your Dog
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.
Speak to your vet in order to determine the best age to spay or neuter your dog.