Skip to Main Content

Ask About Financing

Getting Your Dog Fixed

You may associate preventive care for pets with routine vaccination and parasite prevention. However, reproductive care also falls under this category. In today's post, our Mount Vernon vets explain the importance of spaying and neutering your dog and offer a guide for getting your pooch fixed. 

Spaying vs. Neutering 

Neutering is the surgical sterilization of male animals, which is done by removing the animal's testicles. Spaying is the sterilization of female animals. To sterilize females, a veterinarian surgically removes their reproductive organs. 

The Importance of Spaying & Neutering for Dogs

If you've just brought home a new puppy, you might wonder why you should have them spayed or neutered, especially if you don't plan on ever letting your dog off-leash or allowing them to be around other dogs without supervision. 

Even if your primary concern isn't the puppies that may be born, there are numerous other potential benefits to spaying or neutering your dog. 

What are the benefits of spaying or neutering your dog?

Animal shelters across the United States are filled with unwanted dogs. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 3.3 million dogs pass through shelters each year. Having your dog spayed or neutered can avoid adding to these numbers. Here are some other potential benefits of this surgical procedure for you and your pup:

Health Benefits 

Spaying your female dog before her first 'heat' can help to prevent breast tumors and uterine infections that can often be malignant or cancerous. 

Financial Benefits 

Preventing the birth of unwanted puppies can help keep your budget in check, since the cost of caring for a pregnant dog, calling a vet to supervise the birth of the puppies and caring for newborn pups can be costly. While there is a fee for spaying, this fee is relatively low prepared to the expenses involved with pregnancy and birth. 

What happens to intact females?

When female dogs are not spayed, they enter the reproductive stage often referred to as 'heat' about twice annually. During this stage, male dogs will be attracted to your female for about 18 days. This can lead to unwanted visits from male dogs, and potentially unwanted puppies. 

What are the benefits of neutering your dog?

Similar to spaying for female dogs, neutering your pooch helps to reduce the population of unwanted dogs in the United States. Here are some other reasons to neuter your male dog:

Health Benefits 

By neutering your dog, you'll eliminate the risk of them developing testicular cancer and significantly reduce the risk of prostate diseases, which can be serious. Neutering also helps to reduce the risk of perineal hernias and perineal tumors for male dogs. 

Behavioral Benefits 

Neutering can help curb your dog's desire to roam and may help to reduce behaviors such as mounting and aggression toward other dogs. 

What happens to intact males?

Male dogs typically display undesirable behaviors unless they have been neutered. These include overprotectiveness of people and toys, heightened territorial behavior, roaming (seeking female dogs) and aggression toward other dogs. 

Handy Guide For Spaying & Neutering Dogs 

Now that you understand what spaying and neutering is and why it is beneficial for both you and your pet, you might have some other questions about this procedure. Here are answers to common questions we've received from clients:

When is the ideal time to have your puppy fixed?

Once your pup is between the ages of five and nine months, you will be able to have them fixed safely. If you have an adult dog they will also be able to undergo spay and neuter surgery. Speak with your vet to learn more about the options for your dog.

What should you expect with spaying and neutering your dog?

Your vet will provide you with detailed pre-surgical instructions which may include restricting your pet's food and water before the scheduled surgery. You'll also receive instructions to follow during your dog's recovery, along with any necessary pain medications. 

Female dogs will need a longer recovery period than neutering a male dog.

Your female dog will no longer be able to become pregnant as soon as the surgery has been completed.

Male dogs, however, are not considered sterile until at least 6 weeks have passed after neuter surgery.

How can you help make your dog's recovery from spaying and neutering a success?

There are a number of considerations while your dog is recovering from spay and neuter surgery. Some of these precautions are:

  • Do not allow your dog to socialize, play or run.
  • Jumping will also be out of the question for at least 2 weeks.
  • Use an e-collar (Elizabethan cone) to prevent licking.
  • Monitor the incision for signs of infection. Call your vet if there are any concerns.
  • Don’t bathe the dog for the initial 10 days after surgery.
  • Contact your vet if your dog is vomiting, lethargic, has a decreased appetite or has diarrhea.

You should discuss all pain management and aftercare considerations with your vet prior to the surgery to ensure that you will be prepared. While your pet may not end up needing the pain medication, it is best to have it available just in case.

If you notice that your dog is happy and playful throughout recovery, it is a good indication that it is recovering well. That being said, it is important to continue to limit your dog's activity until it is fully healed.

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.

Would you like to schedule a consultation before having your dog spayed or neutered? Contact our Mount Vernon vets to book an appointment today.

New Patients Welcome

Northwest Veterinary Clinic of Mount Vernon is accepting new patients! Our vets are passionate about the health of Mount Vernon cats, dogs, and horses. Get in touch today to book your animal's first appointment.

Contact Us

(360) 424-4054 Contact