Getting Your Dog Fixed: When and What To Know

Having your dog spayed or neutered can not only help prevent unwanted puppies but also has a variety of other benefits. Today, our Doraville vets offer some information about having your dog fixed, why it is important and what you can expect after surgery is complete.

Why it is Important to Have a Spayed or Neutered Dog

If you have a new puppy you might be wondering why you should ensure you have a neutered or spayed dog, especially if you don't plan on ever letting them roam free.

In reality, having a male dog neutered and a female dog spayed can have a variety of benefits outside of preventing reproduction.

The Benefits of Having Your Female Dog Spayed

The unfortunate truth is that all across the country there are dogs without homes, looking for their forever family. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 3.3 million dogs pass through shelters each year. 

Health Benefits

Spaying your female dog before her first 'heat' can help to prevent uterine infections and breast tumors which can often be malignant or cancerous.

Financial Benefits

By having your dog spayed you can help prevent the financial implications of raising puppies. 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 for the birth of the puppies and caring for newborns.

Why You May Choose to Not Spay

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 the male dogs frequenting your yard and showing aggression toward you, your dog and anyone else nearby.

The Benefits of Having Your Male Dog Neutered

Having your male dog neutered is another way to help prevent the birth of puppies. Which can help reduce the population of homeless dogs all across America.

Health Benefits

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

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.

Why You May Choose to Not Neuter

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.

The Age You Should Have Your Dog Neutered or Spayed

Generally, vets prefer to spay or neuter dogs when they are between 5 and 9 months of age. Adult dogs can also be spayed or neutered. Speak with your vet to learn more about when the right time is to have your dog fixed.

What You Can Expect After Having Your Dog 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.

Once a female has been spayed, she is considered sterile and unable to have puppies. 

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.

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.

If you would like to learn more about reproductive care and surgery, contact our Doraville vets today to book an appointment.