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 Rabun County 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 fact, there are many reasons to have your dog fixed, including some significant health benefits, behavioral benefits, and possibly even financial benefits!
Benefits of Spaying Female Dogs
Animal shelters across the country are overflowing with unwanted dogs. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 3.3 million dogs enter shelters each year.
Health Benefits of Spaying Your Dog
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 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 for 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 known as "heat" twice a year. Male dogs will be attracted to your female for about 18 days during this stage. This can result in unwanted male dogs and possibly unwanted puppies visiting your yard.
Benefits of Neutering Male Dogs
As with spaying female dogs, when you neuter your male dog you help to reduce the population of unwanted dogs in the United States.
Health Benefits of Neutering Your Dog
By neutering your dog, you eliminate the possibility of them developing testicular cancer and significantly reduce the risk of serious prostate diseases. Neutering your dog also lowers the risk of perianal tumors and perineal hernias.
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
A number of undesirable behaviors are common in male dogs who have not been neutered. These include increased territorial behavior, overprotection of people and toys, roaming (looking for female dogs), and aggression toward other dogs.
When to Get Your Puppy Fixed
Typically, puppies are spayed or neutered between five to nine months of age. Adult dogs can also be spayed or neutered. Consult your vet to find out when you should get your dog fixed.
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.
After the surgery, your veterinarian will give you post-operative instructions to help your dog recover comfortably. Depending on the procedure, your dog may be given pain medication to take home with him.
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.