The Best Age to Neuter Your Dog

Ask anyone what the best age to neuter your dog is and you’ll discover just how controversial the topic can be.  Some people say before six months and some people say after six months of age. This post will help you decide the best age to neuter your dog based on facts.

Ultimately, you want a healthy dog who has a long, happy life. This information is general in scope; the decision on what age to spay or neuter your dog isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. That said, there is evidence to show that a dog who has reached sexual maturity before being spayed or neutered has an overall healthier outcome.

Is It Really THAT Important to Have My Dog Neutered?

 It’s important to have dogs spayed or neutered for a number of reasons. First, the overpopulation of pets in North America is putting dogs at risk of being euthanized. Shelters can only hold so many dogs and it’s not always that easy to find homes for them. 

Read more on how important it is to find the best age to neuter your dog!

Can I Still Have My 1 Year Old Dog Neutered?

Actually, you’re right on time!

Veterinarians suggest allowing a larger breed dog to fully mature before neutering. Males who are neutered too early experience a decline in testosterone. Lack of testosterone can lead to obesity.

It can be a complicated subject, so make sure to talk to your trusted veterinarian for the best advice on the best age to neuter your dog.

Protect Your Dog While Fertile

Waiting a year to have your dog neutered means keeping him away from female dogs in heat.  His behaviour will change and it will be harder to keep him inside.

Females in heat will draw dogs from miles away. Male dogs can pick up the scent from as far as 3 miles away.  If the best age to neuter your dog is over six months of age, make sure to keep her safely indoors. When bringing your dog outside be sure to stay with her and keep her on a leash.

You might be interested in: Are Dog’s Mouths Cleaner than Humans?

What About Neutering Before Six Months of Age?

If you decide that the best age to neuter your dog is BEFORE six months of age, there are some things you should know. Early neutering is thought to interrupt thyroid hormone production. That results in hypothyroidism, a chronic condition that slows your dog’s system down. 

In addition, males who are neutered too early (as stated above) tend to lose testosterone. Low testosterone can affect the healthy growth of bone structure.  Abnormal growth can cause structural problems in the bones. These structural problems can leave your dog vulnerable to injuries like ACL tears.

Take a minute to check out this YouTube video on the best age to neuter your dog.  Trust me…it’s worth a watch!

What Are the Risks of Having my Dog Neutered?

Most veterinarians would say that the benefits of having your dog neutered far outweigh the risks.   Studies show that waiting until your male dog reaches full maturity is best for the dog; however, it puts increased responsibility on the owner.

Any type of surgery poses a risk because of the anesthetic. There is less risk in a young, healthy dog. The older a dog gets, the more of an issue it can become.  Veterinarians usually like to do some pre-surgery blood work just to make sure there are no underlying conditions that could complicate the surgery.

Can I Wait Until I Can Afford To Have my Dog Neutered?

Once you’ve decide on the best age to neuter your dog, it’s time to look at your bank account. Unlike things like tooth extractions which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, neutering is relatively inexpensive.  Expect to pay about $200 unless you have dog insurance.  If you cannot afford it, however, there are ways to get around the cost.

Humane societies and other non-profit organizations help low-income families cover the costs of spaying or neutering.  You can always ask the veterinarian if they offer CareCredit. 

CareCredit is, essentially, a credit card designed to help you when money is tight. They give you six months to pay it off in full before you begin to accrue high interest rates.  Most people love this option because it enables them to make monthly payments they can afford.  Also, most people are able to pay the balance off before the six month period is over.

If you live in Canada:

Contact the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS). This organization represents humane societies across Canada.  

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies provides a list of clinics/shelters across the country that provide assistance in the spaying and neutering of pets.  For a comprehensive report on strays who’ve been sheltered in Canada, you can also read their latest statistics.

If you live in the United States:

Contact the Humane Society of the United States. This organization works to protect animals nation-wide and operates through donations. They, too, can help you find low-cost clinics to spay or neuter your dog.

If you live in the United Kingdom:

Contact the Humane Society International organization. This non-profit organization will help you find affordable surgery.  Interested in statistics? Check out the website for tons of information.

Your veterinarian is the best source of information and he/she will be able to advise you most appropriately. You obviously care about your dog, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. Help the global effort to reduce the overpopulation of pets and make an appointment now to have your dog neutered.

Dog Neutering Recovery – Post Surgery

I’ve had both of my dogs neutered and they were able to walk out of the clinic just hours later.  Dogs are usually a little sleepy for a few hours after getting home. However, when they come around it’s important to keep them from chewing at their stitches. 

Medium sized or large dogs might let you get away with putting one of your t-shirts on them. The fabric keeps their mouths away from the stitches and they don’t have to endure an uncomfortable Elizabethan collar.

Your veterinarian might suggest a light diet for your dog for the first 24 hours after surgery.  In some cases, your dog might not be that hungry anyway. 

Your dog should be able to walk around comfortably soon after the surgery. However, avoid rough play and high exertion.  Ball chasing is not advised until the stitches come out.

Click here for the scoop on female spaying!

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about neutering your dog!  Why not take a second to share this with friends and family with pets of their own?

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