When getting a new puppy, you need to talk to your vet about spaying or neutering of your fur baby.
Spaying is the procedure done on female dogs to remove their reproductive organs, so they are unable to have pups of their own.
Neutering is the procedure done on male dogs to remove their reproductive organs, so they are unable to father pups of their own.
Most of us ask why it is so important to have our pets sterilized, and if it is the best option for them. We need to consider what the implications could be to their health and quality of life. Your vet will be able to answer all those questions you may have.
Spaying or neutering your pet will not be an easy “heart” decision for you either knowing the discomfort they will experience as they will have some pain. The pain is worse for female dogs than for male dogs because the surgery is more complex for the female, but either way, your fur baby will be back to their normal self within a few days to a week.
So many “fur parents” are unaware of the consequences not having their fur babies spayed or neutered at an early age when vets recommend this procedure should take place. There can be serious health risks if you spay or neuter older dogs as 1 in 4 of them can develop infections or serious illness.
Female dogs can be spayed any time after 8 weeks of age, preferably before her first heat for the best health benefits.
Female dogs are prone to more serious health issues than male dogs. It is very important to speak to your vet about all your options and what they think would be best for your girl. Female dogs who have not been spayed can develop various infections and most common being a cancerous tumour that affects her mammary glands causing what we commonly know as breast cancer. The function of the mammary gland is to produce milk to feed new-born puppies.
The infection will begin in the uterus and unfortunately, when we realise something is wrong, it will probably already be too late. This is most common and serious in older, larger breed of dogs. Signs of infection and what to look out for could be, excessive thirst and urination, lethargy, vomiting and lack of appetite.
Female dogs can also have a false pregnancy when they have not been spayed. This means that they start lactating and showing signs of pregnancy even when they are not pregnant. The signs of a false pregnancy usually start to show a month or two after their last heat cycle. Usually, a false pregnancy just blows over, but, unfortunately, it can mess with your girl's metabolism and cause health problems.
Male dogs can be neutered any time after 8 weeks old but some veterinarians advise waiting until puberty hits at about six months.
Neutering will be a good thing for your boy. When male dogs have been neutered, it reduces the chances of him “wandering off” or develop “behavioural problems”. It also minimizes the level of aggression and stubbornness he may have shown before being neutered and they are also less likely to “mark their territory”. Most importantly, it will give your male dog a happier life and you will be less anxious not having to worry about if or when he may get prostate cancer.
As with most things in life, there can be a “negative” side and in this case, dogs that get spayed or neutered can become overweight and obese. In this case, being a good caring pet parent, it is your responsibility and commitment to them to make sure the food that you feed them is fit for him or her without going on any “special diet”, just your mindfulness and providing a means for them to exercise too as their whole system and body changes so their feeding guidelines will need to change too. Follow the feeding instructions and help your fur baby stay light and fit.
Overweight and obese dogs can have very serious health issues so solving one problem just to cause another is pointless. Take care of your fur baby, keeping a dog thin is much easier than getting them eat less and lose weight.
We can never be 100% sure of anything or even that our fur babies will get ill if they are not spayed or neutered, but talking to your vet and getting all the facts is going to help you make the right and safest choice for your fur baby. Even though we call them our children and they are our “fur children”, unlike us, they are unable to tell you they are unwell or that something is wrong, so we need to plan early and make good choices that will give them a happy and healthy life with you.