When is the right time to neuter a dog

Neutering your male dog has many health benefits. The procedure also helps to control pet homelessness. Working with our veterinarian in Tucson can help you determine what is best for your pet.

Benefits of Neutering

Neutering your male dog can help prevent prostate problems and testicular cancer. It may also make your male dog less likely to run away from home. Non-neutered males will do anything to find a mate, and if they escape, they will gladly risk fights with other animals or injury in traffic. A neutered male may also be better behaved. He won’t be marking his territory or mounting inanimate objects, people, or other dogs. Neutering early on can also solve certain aggression problems. It’s also cost-effective, as the cost of the procedure is much cheaper than having to care for a whole litter of puppies.

When to Neuter

The traditional age for neutering is six to nine months. However, puppies as young as eight weeks can be neutered as long as there aren’t other health problems. An adult dog can be neutered at any time but there is a larger risk of complications. Older dogs, dogs that have health problems, and dogs that are overweight, all face a greater risk of complications.

Caring for Your Pet After the Neuter Procedure  

Our veterinary clinic will provide pre-surgical advice that should be followed. Your dog will need adequate nutrition and your veterinarian may not want you to withhold food. You should also follow the post-operative instructions. There can be some discomfort after surgery but our vet can also help you with measures to control the pain. To provide a comfortable recovery, you should have your pet be in a quiet place away from other animals. You may need to prevent your dog from jumping and running for two weeks. You may also need to prevent licking, which can cause infection. Monitor the incision daily to make sure it’s healing correctly.

Visit Our Veterinarian

To learn more about neutering your dog in Tucson, AZ, call Twin Peaks Veterinary Center at (520) 413-9422 or request an appointment online today.

Whether you have a new puppy or a recently adopted dog, it is important to make sure that he is neutered. Veterinarians recommend having your dog spayed or neutered as a safe and effective way of eliminating negative habits and promoting a long and healthy life for your pet. Our team at Willow Glen Pet Hospital is here to help your pet throughout the process. 

What Are the Benefits of Neutering Your Dog?

Neutering your dog prevents unwanted births, testicular cancer, and prostate disease. Neutered dogs also roam less than un-neutered ones. Neutering your male dog may also diminish certain behaviors associated with mating like marking his territory. Our San Jose veterinarian is committed to helping you make the best choice regarding when to neuter your dog. 

When You Should Neuter Your Dog

This is an important question to consider because issues can form if this procedure is done too soon or too late. 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. Consult our team to find out when the time is right for your dog. 

What Happens if You Neuter too Late or Early?

If you neuter your dog too early, you run the risk of him experiencing behavioral issues. These issues include phobias, hostility, and sensitivity. Your dog may also become obese and develop hypothyroidism. Neutering too early can also increase bone growth resulting in increased height. There are issues if you neuter your dog too late as well. Although there is no specific age limit, the benefits linked to neutering your dog decrease as he ages. 

As part of the battle against pet overpopulation, it used to be common practice to spay and neuter young pets as soon as it was safe to do so, and sterilization still is routinely performed on shelter puppies and kittens. When it comes to privately-owned pets in secure homes, here are AAHA’s most recent recommendations.

  • Cats: Female kittens can enter their first heat cycle as young as four months, but usually not until they are five or six months old. AAHA has endorsed the “Fix Felines by Five” initiative, which recommends sterilization of cats by five months of age. This recommendation prevents unwanted litters and greatly decreases mammary cancer risks in female cats as well as spraying/marking in male cats, but still allows kittens time to grow. Kittens sterilized at this age quickly bounce back from surgery.
  • Dogs: According to the AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines, small-breed dogs (under 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered at six months of age or spayed prior to the first heat (five to six months). Large-breed dogs (over 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered after growth stops, which usually is between 9 and 15 months of age. The decision on when to spay a large-breed female dog is based on many factors—your veterinarian can help narrow down the recommended window of 5 to 15 months depending on your dog’s disease risk and lifestyle.

What are the benefits of spaying or neutering my pet?

Many pet owners think their female pet needs to experience the joy of motherhood at least once or that their male pet will feel less masculine if he’s neutered, but animals simply do not think that way. US pet owners choose not to spay or neuter their pets for a variety of reasons, including:

  • They show or breed the animals
  • Financial constraints
  • Fear of anesthesia
  • Lack of understanding of the benefits

These concerns might seem valid, but the reasons to spay or neuter far outweigh the risks of not doing so. Older show or breeding pets who are spayed or neutered can avoid various cancers and infections. Many spay-and-neuter clinics are low-cost and anesthesia in veterinary medicine now is on par with human medicine. If you’re still not convinced that spaying or neutering your pet can lead to a happier, healthier, longer life, consider these benefits:

  • Spaying your female pet drastically slashes her risk of mammary cancer, which is fatal in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats.
  • Neutering your male pet eliminates his risk of testicular cancer.
  • Spaying and neutering limits pet overpopulation.
  • Spaying your female pet prevents heat cycles and eliminates yowling, crying, erratic behavior, and bloody vaginal discharge.
  • Neutering your male pet reduces inappropriate behaviors, such as roaming to find a mate, marking inside your home, and fighting with other males.
  • Spaying and neutering is more cost-effective than skipping the surgery. A uterine infection that requires emergency surgery to save your female pet’s life easily can cost several thousand dollars, while a simple tomcat neuter costs much less than products needed to eliminate urine odors after your home has been well-marked by your territorial male cat.

What does research show about spaying and neutering pets?

There is little data concerning the correct age to spay and neuter pets, but emerging research informs AAHA’s guidelines. For example, cancer, orthopedic disease, behavioral problems, endocrine disorders, obesity, and urinary incontinence may be linked to sterilization status and the age at which the procedure is performed. The University of California, Davis, conducted a study on golden retrievers in 2013 that turned the world of veterinary medicine on its head concerning early spaying and neutering. Early sterilization prevented many issues, according to the study, but also appeared to increase the risk of other diseases, such as cranial cruciate ligament rupture, hemangiosarcoma, mast cell tumors, lymphosarcoma, and hip dysplasia. More research is needed, especially with different canine breeds, to help us understand the cause and effect of sterilization and the relationship between spay/neuter status and disease prevalence. More studies on the link between sterilization age and the onset of certain diseases also are needed.

The decision about when to spay or neuter your pet is one you should make with your AAHA-accredited veterinarian. She is your most up-to-date resource, and her knowledge of your pet’s particular breed and potential disease risk can help you make an informed decision about the appropriate age for your pet’s sterilization.

What is the best age to neuter a male dog?

The traditional age for neutering is six to nine months. However, puppies as young as eight weeks can be neutered as long as there aren't other health problems. An adult dog can be neutered at any time but there is a larger risk of complications.

How do you know when it's time to neuter your dog?

When should I neuter my male dog? Small dogs do not have as many orthopedic issues, therefore it is fine to neuter them on the younger side at 6-12 months of age. For large dogs that are very prone to orthopedic injury/diseases we now recommend waiting to neuter until 9-18 months of age.

Do male dogs change after being neutered?

Behavioral Changes in a Dog After Being Neutered Removing the testicles removes the largest source of testosterone in the body. This results in a decrease in sexually driven behaviors in your dog: urine marking, escaping to seek female dogs, and aggression toward other male dogs.

What happens when a dog is neutered 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.