What is the Best Time to Neuter or Spay Your Pet? – Veterinarians Stratford (2023)

     What is the Best Time to Neuter or Spay Your Pet? – Veterinarians Stratford (1)
    By mitchellvs May 7, 2019 January 13th, 2020 Small Animal No Comments

    Spaying and neutering are surgical procedures that involve sterilizing cats and dogs, so that they can no longer reproduce. These surgeries are performed on patients under general anesthesia. Please check out the 3 parts of the article Coventry Animal HospitalTries to Demystify Pre-anesthetic Protocols for your Pet, Coventry Animal Hospital Tries to Demystify Anesthetic Protocols for your Pet and Coventry Animal Hospital Tries to Demystify Post-anesthetic Protocols for your Pet if you would like to learn more.

    A neuter is a procedure in which the testes of a cat or dog are surgically removed. It is also known as castration or orchiectomy. The feline neuter involves a scrotal incision and the canine neuter involves a pre-scrotal incision.

    A spay is a procedure in which both ovaries and the uterus are surgically removed. It is also known as ovariohysterectomy. See feline spay, canine spay for more information on the surgical procedures.

    What are the Benefits of Neutering my Male Cat by 6 Months of Age?

    Neutering your male cat by 6 months old will prevent him from getting a female cat pregnant. Neutering will greatly reduce the odour of a male cat’s urine, as well as urine spraying and marking behaviour. Inappropriate urination in cats is a huge reason why male cats are rehomed and we want you to have your kitty companion for his lifetime. Neutering may decrease his chances of roaming and getting into territorial fights with other cats.

    Should I Allow my Female Cat to Have a Litter of Kittens Before Her Spay Surgery?

    We recommend having your female cat spayed before her first heat cycle. Allowing your cat to have a litter of kittens would contribute to the problem of pet over-population. Spaying a cat at this young age will prevent her from going into heat (See our cat heat cycle blog), decrease her risk of mammary cancer later in life, prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and prevent cancer of the uterus or ovaries.

    Should I Wait Until My Large-Breed Dog is Over a Year Old to Sterilize Them?

    There has been research in large-breed dogs that suggests waiting until a large-breed dog is 15-18 months old and their growth plates are closed may reduce their risk of orthopedic diseases, such as cranial cruciate ligament rupture and hip dysplasia. Please consult your veterinarian to determine the best time frame to sterilize your large-breed dog based on their lifestyle and other risk factors.

    What are the Benefits of Neutering My Male Dog by 6 Months of Age?

    Neutering your dog will prevent certain health issues such as prostatic enlargement and decrease his risk of developing testicular or prostatic cancer. This will prevent your male dog from breeding a female dog. There is no benefit to delay neutering a small breed dog until after sexual maturity.

    What are the Benefits of Spaying my Female Dog by 6 Months of Age?

    Spaying female dogs prevents the over-population of puppies. Please check out our dog heat cycle blog. Spaying a female dog prior to her first heat cycle significantly lowers her chance of developing mammary and ovarian cancer and pyometra. Her risk of pyometra increases with consecutive heat cycles.

    Will Spaying/Neutering my Pet Cause Them to Get Fat?

    Within days of sterilization surgery, your pet’s metabolism will slow down by approximately 30%. This means that their caloric intake will need to be adjusted in order to maintain them at an ideal body weight.

    If you have questions or concerns about spaying or neutering your pet, talk to one of our team members at Coventry Animal Hospital, we would be happy to address them.

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    At what age should most pets be spayed or neutered? ›

    An age of six to nine months of age may be appropriate for neutering or spaying a toy breed puppy or small breed puppy but a larger or giant breed may need to wait until they are near or over 12-18 months of age.

    Why do vets wait until 6 months to spay? ›

    Unfortunately, we don't yet know the age at which this growth effect ceases. So many orthopedic surgeons recommend waiting until skeletal maturity to spay and neuter pets, especially those predisposed to orthopedic disease, such as large dog breeds.

    At what age should a puppy be spayed neutered and why should this be done? ›

    Typically, the best age for dogs is between four to six months. Female dogs should be spayed before their first heat which can occur between five and ten months. Does Neutering/Spaying a Dog Prevent Cancer? Yes. Dogs who are spayed/neutered are less likely to develop certain cancers.

    Why should you wait a year to neuter your dog? ›

    Early neutering can cause orthopedic, behavioral, immunologic, and oncologic (tumor) problems in dogs, leading to a shortened lifespan and increased health issues.

    What age is too late to spay a dog? ›

    Is it Too Late? The recommended time to spay or neuter a dog is six to nine months. But if your dog is healthy, there is no specific age limit to having the procedure done.

    What happens if you spay or neuter a dog too early? ›

    Some veterinarians say that spaying and neutering too early will deprive your dog of the sex hormones necessary for their maturation. These hormones are responsible for skeletal growth. If the procedure occurs too early, it may take much longer for your dog's growth plates to close.

    Do vets keep dogs overnight after spaying? ›

    Most pets will stay at the hospital the night after they are spayed or neutered for observation. However, some pets may be allowed to go home that evening. Remember, your pet had a major surgery with anesthetic and they may be drowsy or may try to hide. This is when the crate can be very handy.

    What are the benefits of delaying spaying? ›

    “Waiting until your dog is older decreases the likelihood of female urinary incontinence, orthopedic problems including cranial cruciate ligament tears, and certain cancers.”

    Is 8 months too early to spay? ›

    When Is It Too Early to Spay or Neuter My Puppy or Kitten? We do not recommend neutering or spaying before 6-8 months. Early spaying or neutering can affect bone growth and may affect joint alignment. It's best to wait until your puppy or kitten is at least 6 to 8 months old.

    Why you shouldn't spay your dog early? ›

    Spaying your dog too early can result in health problems later on since her hormones should have some time to work. Early spaying can increase the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, bone cancer, and urinary incontinence.

    Should you let a female dog go into heat before spaying? ›

    There are some old wives' tales that a dog should go through at least 1 heat cycle before she's spayed. This just isn't the case. Studies have shown that the risks of mammary cancer and urinary incontinence are higher if you wait to spay your dog after she's gone through 1 or more heat cycles.

    How long does it take for a dog to recover from being spayed? ›

    Most pets will start to feel better in 24 - 48 hours, but full recovery takes between 10 to 14 days. During this period you should aim to keep your pet calm and refrain from allowing them to jump, as this could cause the incision to reopen.

    What age do dogs go into heat? ›

    On average, puberty (or sexual maturity) is reached at about six months of age, but this can vary by breed. Smaller breeds tend to have their first estrous cycle at an earlier age, while large and giant breeds may not come into heat for the first time until they reach eighteen months to two years of age.

    How much does it cost for a dog to be spayed? ›

    While there are a lot of variables, spaying will typically run $50–$500. Costs at the low end of that spectrum are typically subsidized through a public agency. "There are many low-cost spay and neuter clinics around the country to help make the process more accessible to all pet owners," Moore says.

    Do neutered dogs live longer? ›

    A University of Georgia study, based on the medical records of more than 70,000 animal patients, found that the life expectancy of neutered male dogs was 13.8% longer and that of spayed female dogs was 26.3% longer.

    What happens if you don't spay your dog? ›

    Pyometra, which is a severe infection of the uterus, can be fatal to dogs and cats when untreated. In intact animals (those that aren't spayed yet), the chronic effect of sex hormones can result in overstimulation of certain cells within the uterus called cystic endometrial hyperplasia (CEH).

    Why has my dog become more aggressive after spaying? ›

    Potential Side Effects of Spaying Your Dog

    A small number of studies report that unspayed female dogs who are aggressive to family members may become more aggressive after they're spayed. This could be caused by a decrease in estrogen and oxytocin, both of which may have calming, anti-anxiety effects.

    Is 12 weeks too early neuter a dog? ›

    In fact, even the leading veterinary organization, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) agrees it's a worthy approach: “The AVMA supports the concept of early (prepubertal, 8 to 16 weeks of age) spay/neuter in dogs and cats in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals of these species.

    Is 7 months too early to neuter a dog? ›

    The recommended age to neuter a male dog is between six and nine months. However, some pet owners have this procedure done at four months. Smaller dogs reach puberty sooner and can often have the procedure done sooner. Larger breeds may need to wait longer in order to properly develop before being neutered.

    Where should a dog sleep after being spayed? ›

    Your pet needs to be kept in an indoor crate/ kennel for most of the day and night for the next 10 days. The time of highest risk for the sutures breaking down is 3-5 days after surgery.

    Why is my dog peeing in her sleep after being spayed? ›

    This disorder is often referred to as “spay incontinence” because it appears in female dogs after they have been spayed. The cause of incontinence in these patients is most likely related to decreased estrogen levels associated with removing the ovaries during the spay.

    What do you do with your dog the night before spaying? ›

    The night before the procedure

    Give your pet their food around 8 pm and then DO NOT give ANY food to your pet after 9pm. (This includes treats and milk). Water may be left down overnight, but should be removed first thing in the morning.

    What are the negatives of spaying and neutering? ›

    The Risks of Spaying/Neutering:

    Newer research indicates that certain large breed dogs who are spayed or neutered before reaching sexual maturity have an increased risk of orthopedic disease such as hip dysplasia and degenerative joint disease.

    Do female dogs get nicer after being spayed? ›

    The short answer is that no, your dog isn't likely to be less hyperactive after getting spayed or neutered. It won't change their personality much, if at all. Each dog has its own positive and negative social habits.

    What are 3 advantages of spaying an animal? ›

    Below are the benefits of spaying & neutering your pet.
    • Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life. ...
    • Neutering provides major health benefits for your male. ...
    • Your spayed female won't go into heat. ...
    • Your male dog won't want to roam away from home. ...
    • Your neutered male will be much better behaved.

    What happens if you neuter a cat too late? ›

    Remember, it is never too late to neuter a cat and, even if it has been left a few years, this does not mean the operation cannot be performed. Even in later life, neutering a cat still provides many benefits and is usually the best option.

    What happens if you spay a cat too early? ›

    The main reasons that vets are reluctant to advise early neutering is that they feel there is a higher risk of surgical and anaesthetic problems (Murray et al, 2008), as well as an increased risk of urinary tract problems, growth plate fractures, obesity and behavioural issues (Spain et al, 2004).

    Is 10 weeks too early to spay? ›

    WHEN IS IT SAFE TO SPAY OR NEUTER MY PET? Generally, it is safe to spay or neuter most kittens and puppies at 8 weeks of age. However, be sure to check with your veterinarian and have your pet evaluated before scheduling spay or neuter surgery.

    Why should an animal be spayed at an early age? ›

    Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life.

    Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.

    Is 5 years too old to spay a dog? ›

    Yes, you can definitely spay a 5-year-old dog. It's always best to spay dogs when they're younger to prevent serious illnesses associated with the uterus, as well as reduce the overpopulation of dogs. However, even if they're older, it's best to spay a dog rather than not have them spayed at all.

    What are the cons of spaying too early? ›

    Zink associates with early spay/neuter continues: greater risk of hemangiosarcoma, mast cell cancer, lymphoma, and bladder cancer; higher incidence of hip dysplasia in dogs spayed or neutered at six months of age; significantly higher prevalence of cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injury; heightened risk of urinary ...

    What happens if you spay a kitten too early? ›

    The main reasons that vets are reluctant to advise early neutering is that they feel there is a higher risk of surgical and anaesthetic problems (Murray et al, 2008), as well as an increased risk of urinary tract problems, growth plate fractures, obesity and behavioural issues (Spain et al, 2004).

    Do animals live longer if they are spayed? ›

    Austad and Hoffman say spayed and neutered pets live longer, healthier, happier lives because they have fewer behavioral issues and they are less susceptible to infections, degenerative diseases, and traumatic/violent causes of death.

    Is there any reason not to neuter your dog? ›

    Research shows that spay-neuter can increase the risk of joint disorders and certain cancers. The likelihood of negative health outcomes varies widely between breeds and sexes. Decisions about whether to spay-neuter should be reached through informed discussion with a veterinarian.


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