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To answer some questions about spaying your dog

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

Spaying is an overwhelming decision, you know you have to make a decision but put off because it seems daunting.

Should female dogs be spayed?

In almost all cases, the answer is yes. Some pet owners consider having at least one litter of puppies before spaying their female dog, but we don’t recommend this. For many pet owners, managing their dog’s pregnancy and puppies means a significant time and money commitment they’re not prepared for. Pregnancy and birth also come with health implications that could put your dog at risk of injury or even death. Consider the circumstances carefully before you choose to breed your dog.

There is no medical reason to let a bitch have one litter before spay. In fact, some of the benefits like protection against mammary tumors, are lost if the operation is delayed. Unless an owner is committed to having a litter, with all the work and expense that can be involved, and the bitch is also suitable in temperament and free of any hereditary problems, then breeding should not be considered.

When should I spay my dog?

Now that we’ve established how important it is to spay your female dog, we should discuss how to time the procedure.

There is most certainly such a thing as spaying your dog at the wrong time—in particular, too early while she’s too young—and it’s something that you should work to avoid at all costs.

Spaying your dog too early can result in health problems later on since her hormones should have some time to work. Early spaying can increase the risk of hip dysplasia, torn ligaments, bone cancer, and urinary incontinence. Your dog’s ideal time to spay will also be based on her breed and size, so it’s best to work closely with a veterinarian to determine when is the right time.

Spaying comes with many benefits

Spaying prevents heat periods: Your female dog will go into “heat” regularly without spaying, causing inconvenient “heat periods.” Heat periods are messy and can be a significant nuisance. Females in heat have to be kept inside at all times to prevent an unplanned litter of pups and can stain your furniture or carpet.

Spaying prevents deadly uterine infections: Almost a quarter of female dogs that aren’t spayed develop an infection called pyometra, a swelling of the uterus with toxic pus that can only be cured by an emergency spay. This surgery is dangerous for elderly or middle-aged dogs and isn’t always successful.

Spaying prevents pregnancy: Of course, the most obvious reason to spay your dog is to prevent pregnancy. At the same time, it also prevents the nuisance of false pregnancy, the condition that some females who aren’t spayed have after going into heat. False pregnancies can be difficult for dog owners to navigate and can cause dangerous health problems in your dog.

The main advantages of spaying are preventing pregnancy, preventing infection of the uterus (pyometra), preventing ovarian or uterine cancer and reducing the likelihood of mammary (breast) cancer, all of which can be life-threatening. It also prevents the inconvenience of having a bitch in season with unwanted attention from male dogs.

Some people expect that their bitch will get fat after spay, but in fact this is entirely preventable with a healthy diet and proper exercise.

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