The Best Age At Which To Spay Or Neuter A Dog
Getting your dog to undergo surgery might be something that scares you as a pet owner, but you need to understand that neutering or spaying your dog is for its good.
The most significant benefit of this is that the pet population will be greatly reduced. In doing so, it will be much easier for shelter pets to look for a loving home to live in. According to the pet statistics provided by ASPCA, there are approximately 6.5 million animals that enter animal shelters in the US each year. Of these, only 3.2 million are adopted, which is why millions of animals have to be euthanized. By neutering or spaying your pet, you'd be able to somehow minimize the killing of these poor animals.
In addition, spaying your female pet can also help to prevent heat cycles, which are truly messy and annoying for most pet owners. Also, if you consider neutering your male dog, you can minimize its risk of suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia or testicular cancer. Also, according to a study published in the Science Daily, spayed or neutered dogs have a much longer lifespan than pets that haven’t been spayed or neutered.
Now that you are aware of the many benefits of neutering or spaying your dog, you probably have some questions as to what would be the best age for your pet to safely undergo this procedure.
Most of the vets in the US recommend that dogs must be castrated or spayed around the age of 6 months to 9 months. But there hasn’t been any large-scale study done to prove that indeed this is the best age for pets to be castrated.
Some dog experts believe that such recommendation of age dates back to World War II when the American families in the affluent society were allowed to have their pets at home. In order to ensure that the animals would be able to survive the surgery, it was required at that time that the pets should reach at least 6 months before they could be castrated.
But now that we are in the modern times and vets are already equipped with anesthetic monitoring equipment and better anesthetic agents, it’s been demonstrated in some studies that dogs can safely be castrated as young as 6-8 weeks old.
The study shows that the rate of surgical complications doesn’t vary in between groups who are undergoing surgery while still very young compared to dogs that are undergoing surgery upon reaching the traditional age of 6 months. The overall rate of post-operative complications has been reported to be at 6.1%, and a majority of these complications are transient and don’t require veterinary care.
The answer will mainly depend upon the pet owner’s personal preferences. Most animal shelters live by the rule that animals have to reach at least 2 months old and weigh 2 pounds for them to go through the surgery.
This is a very young age, but the shelters cannot afford to wait until the animals are 6 months old before they are spayed. They just don’t have enough room anymore because of the increasing number of pets being born.
Any type of surgery will always come with risks. For senior dogs whose health might be compromised, the risk is much higher. Nevertheless, it’s still relatively safer to spay an old dog that is healthy than an old dog that needs to be spayed on an emergency due to uterine infections and other serious medical conditions.
Getting your dog spayed or neutered comes with benefits. Sure, it’s somehow scary since any kind of surgery comes with a risk, but the many benefits outweigh the risks.
As a pet owner, the best thing that you can do is to help your pooch to recover fast after the surgery is done. The Elizabethan Collar, also known as a dog cone, can help with your pet’s recovery. This cone is attached on the neck of your pet to keep it from licking the incision, which could further complicate the recovery process.