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Getting Your Dog Fixed (Neutered or Spayed)

Do you have a new dog or puppy? You may be wondering about spaying and neutering. In this article, our Corpus Christi vets explain the benefits of having your dog neutered or spayed, and what you can expect from this veterinary surgery.

What is spaying and neutering?

Neutering is the act of sterilizing male animals. In the case of puppies, this is done by surgically removing your young dog's testicles. Spaying is the sterilization of female animals. Veterinarians sterilize female puppies by removing their reproductive organs. 

Why consider having your dog spayed or neutered?

If you've just welcomed a new puppy or dog into your life, you'll need to consider all aspects of their veterinary care needs, including preventive care. This includes scheduling your four-legged friend for veterinary surgery to be spayed or neutered. This is an especially important choice if you plan to walk your dog on a leash or keep them in your garden or backyard. 

Having your dog fixed offers a variety of advantages, including lower risk of health issues later in life, better behavior, and potentially saving money in the long-term on the costs of healthcare for accidental pregnancy. 

What are the benefits of spaying female dogs?

Animal shelters across the United States are filled with dogs. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 3.3 million dogs enter the shelter system in America each year. 

Health Benefits of Spaying Your Dog 

Having your female dog spayed before she enters her first "heat" can decrease her risk of diseases such as breast tumors and uterine infections, which can lead to cancer. 

Financial Benefits of Spaying Your Dog

You'll save money by preventing the birth of unwanted puppies. While you'll need to pay a fee for spaying, it's much cheaper than the expenses involved in caring for a pregnant dog, calling a vet to supervise the birth of puppies, and caring for newborns. 

Deciding Not to Spay Your Female Dog 

When female dogs are intact, or unspayed, they enter a reproductive stage referred to as "heat". During this period, male dogs are attracted to your female dog for up to 18 days. This may lead to unwelcome interactions with male dogs in your yard or during walks and can lead to unintended litters of puppies. 

Benefits of Neutering Male Dogs 

As with spaying female dogs, when you have your male dog neutered, you help to reduce the population of unwanted dogs in the United States.

Health Benefits of Neutering Your Dog

Neutering your dog has several benefits. It reduces the chance of them developing testicular cancer and lowers the risk of prostate diseases, which can be serious. Neutering also prevents unwanted behaviors and conditions such as perineal tumors and hernias.

Behavioral Benefits of Neutering Your Dog

Neutering can control your dog's urge to wander and potentially decrease behaviors like mounting and aggression towards other dogs.

Deciding Not To Neuter Your Male Dog

Unneutered male dogs often exhibit several undesirable behaviors. These can include displaying territorial behavior, being overly protective of toys and people, showing aggression towards other dogs, and roaming, especially when searching for female dogs.

When to Get Your Puppy Fixed

Puppies are usually spayed or neutered when they are between five and nine months old. Even adult dogs can undergo this procedure. It's best to consult your veterinarian to determine the appropriate time to get your dog spayed or neutered.

What to Expect When Getting Your Puppy Fixed

Your veterinarian will give you detailed instructions before your pet's surgery. These instructions will include guidelines for restricting your pet's food and water before the scheduled procedure.

Once the surgery is done, your vet will provide you with instructions to help your dog recover comfortably. Depending on the timing of the procedure, your dog may also receive pain medication to take home.

In general, female dogs take longer to recover from spaying compared to male dogs after neutering.

After a female dog is spayed, she cannot have puppies as she becomes sterile.

Please keep in mind that male dogs are not immediately sterile after neutering. It can take up to six weeks for them to be considered safely sterile.

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.

Is it time to have your dog spayed or neutered? Contact our veterinarians in Corpus Christi to book an appointment.

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Riverside Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Corpus Christi companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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