Dog Neutering 101: Everything You Need to Know
One of the responsibilities of a dog owner is to ensure that their pet is neutered. Unfortunately, this is a topic that’s rarely discussed, which is why first-time dog owners are often at a loss when it comes to neutering their dogs.
Before you get your dog to undergo the process, you should first find out what are the steps involved in the neutering procedure and if there are any potential risks. Of course, you may also want to know how much this procedure will cost you.
So here’s everything that a pet parent should know when it comes to dog neutering.
The main benefit of neutering your male pet is for it not to sire any puppies that could lead to pet overpopulation. According to the ASPCA, thousands of dogs are getting euthanized every year due to overpopulation. As such, neutering is necessary.
But aside from that, here are more reasons why dog owners should neuter their dogs:
- Neutering senior dogs minimize the likelihood of enlarged prostate.
- Since it’s got less testosterone, your dog will no longer need to roam outside and be aggressive with other pets.
- The dog is likely to acquire certain diseases, including testicular cancer and other prostate diseases.
- The dog will stay calmer since it will have a low level of testosterone.
- This can minimize its barking because it no longer has to catch the attention of other pets and make its presence known.
- Your dog will be less likely to get involved with fights against other dogs in the neighborhood, most notably the males.
You can neuter a male dog any time after it reaches eight weeks old. Several years ago, veterinarians used to advise pet owners to wait until the dog reached puberty or after it reached the age of six months. If you’re not sure as to when you should neuter your dog, ask your vet for advice.
Dogs that have been neutered before reaching puberty tend to grow bigger than dogs that were neutered after puberty. The reason for this is because neutering before puberty prevents hormones such as testosterone from being produced. This causes a delay in the closing of your dog’s growth plates in its bones, results in taller and bigger dogs.
Most dogs become sexually mature upon reaching the age of 5-6 months, which is quite fast.
Your pet’s vet will first provide pre-surgical blood work to your pet to ensure that it’s healthy enough to undergo surgery. This is also to make sure that your pooch is not suffering from any health condition that could affect the anesthesia that will be used. Generally, young dogs that are healthy will not have any issues with the surgery.
It’s crucial that you follow the advice of the vet when it comes to preparing your dog for the surgery. Usually, the vet will advise not to feed your dog for at least 8 hours before the surgery starts since the anesthesia could make your dog feel nauseated. Drinking water before the surgery should be fine.
The process of neutering is simple and straightforward. Your dog’s vet will give you advice on post-surgery care. It will only take about a couple of weeks for the dog to be able to recover completely.
Here’s what to expect:
- You can take your dog home after the surgery is performed.
- Your dog might feel nauseated and won’t eat during the first few days after the surgery. There’s no need to worry about that or force your dog to eat. Everything will be fine.
- Your dog’s scrotum will appear swollen a few days after the surgery. But the swelling could get worsened if your pet ends up licking the incision.
- If you notice your dog licking the stitches, which it will most likely do, put a dog cone on its neck.
- The vet will remove the stitching after 7-10 days, depending on the stitching material that was used. The vet will also provide instructions on how to monitor and check if the incision is already healing, and when you should take your pet back to the clinic for it to be removed.
- After the pet is neutered, the scrotum of the puppy will flatten when it grows, and you might not notice this at all. For adult dogs, the surgery will result in the development of a flap of skin.
- Most dogs prefer to play the following day, but you should restrict this activity so that the incision doesn’t open.
- Mild bruising could appear on the area surrounding the incision.
If you notice a discharge from the incision, you should take your dog to the vet. Also, if your dog seems to be suffering from extreme pain in the area, then better check with the vet.
Observe your dog after the surgery, and if you notice any unusual symptoms or strange behavioral changes on your dog, go to the vet immediately. You will probably notice that your pet is not in its usual self after the surgery. It will feel lethargic and may lack the energy to play or even walk around.
Give your pooch some time to recover fully. Besides, one of the purposes of the surgery is to make your dog stay calm. But most dogs should be able to bounce back and go back to their usual self after some time.
One of the things that you’ll notice on your pet after the neutering surgery is that it will attempt to lick the stitches. This is normal for dogs, but if you let your pet do it, this could worsen the incision. Thus, it will take more time for your dog to heal, and this could put it at risk of infection.
It’s for this reason why you should get a dog cone for your dog. Also known as the Elizabeth collar, the cone can help to prevent your dog from licking. You can also get your pooch to wear it while it’s sleeping to allow for the incision to heal faster.