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Benefits of Neutering & Spaying Dogs

We often hear about how we should have our canine companions fixed, but why? Did you know that this common procedure can have several advantages? Here, our vets in Rockland County share a guide to the benefits of spaying and neutering dogs and when it should be done.

Advantages of Neutering & Spaying Dogs

According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), less than half of the pets that enter shelters each year in the United States are adopted.

One of the best ways to do your part to reduce the number of unplanned puppies born annually is to spay or neuter your dog. This not only protects their health but also helps to reduce the strain on the shelter system.

What's the difference between spaying and neutering?

Neutering Male Dogs

Often referred to as castration, neutering involves removing your male dog's testicles, along with the associated internal structures. Following this procedure, your dog won't be able to reproduce. 

Alternative options for male dogs, such as vasectomies, aren't typically performed. 

Spaying Female Dogs

Spaying involves removing a female dog's reproductive organs, either by an ovariohysterectomy (the removal of the uterus and the ovaries) or ovariectomy (removing the ovaries only). 

After a spaying procedure, your dog will no longer be able to become pregnant or go into heat.

When is it ideal to have your dog spayed or neutered?

There are a few factors to keep in mind when deciding to spay or neuter your dog. Both vet surgery procedures can be performed on puppies as young as a couple of months old, while traditionally, puppies are typically fixed by the time they reach 4 to 6 months old. 

The timing of your dog's spay or neuter procedure will depend on many different factors. Because larger dogs mature slower than small or medium-sized breeds, they should be fixed later. Many vets recommend females be spayed before entering their first heat cycle. If your adopted male and female puppies are around the same age, have them spayed or neutered before the female's first heat. 

Speak with your vet about when the best time will be to have your dog fixed. They can perform a full physical exam and review your dog's medical history before conducting the procedure to minimize the risk of complications. 

What are the benefits of spaying or neutering my dog?

So, why spay or neuter a dog? On top of eliminating the risk of an unwanted litter of puppies, there are a wide range of benefits to consider when neutering or spaying your dog such as:

Why spay your female dog?

Across the United States, animal shelters are filled with dogs. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 3.3 million dogs are a part of the shelter system in America each year. 

Health Benefits of Spaying Your Dog

Spaying your female dog before her first "heat" can reduce the risk of diseases such as uterine infections and breast tumors, which can lead to cancer.

Financial Benefits of Spaying Your Dog

Preventing the birth of unwanted puppies saves you money. Although there's a fee for spaying, it's much cheaper than the expenses involved in taking care of a pregnant dog, calling a vet for the birth of puppies, and caring for newborns.

Deciding Not To Spay Your Female Dog

When female dogs are not spayed, they enter a reproductive stage called "heat." During this period, male dogs can be attracted to your dog for up to 18 days. This may result in unwelcome encounters with male dogs during walks or in your yard, and it can also lead to an unintended litter of puppies.

Why neuter your male dog?

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

Neutering your dog has several benefits. It reduces the chance of them developing testicular cancer and lowers the risk of prostate diseases, which can be serious. Neutering also prevents unwanted behaviors and conditions such as perineal tumors and hernias.

Behavioral Benefits of Neutering Your Dog

Neutering can control your dog's urge to wander and potentially decrease behaviors like mounting and aggression toward other dogs.

Deciding Not To Neuter Your Male Dog

Unneutered male dogs often exhibit several undesirable behaviors. These can include displaying territorial behavior, being overly protective of toys and people, showing aggression towards other dogs, and roaming, especially when searching for female dogs.

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 schedule your dog for a spay or neuter surgery, please contact our Rockland County veterinarians today  

We are now accepting new patients!

At Rockland Veterinary we are passionate about animals and enjoy helping cats and dogs feel well. Contact our vets in Hudson Valley, North Rockland or Pomona today to schedule your furry companion's first appointment!