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When Should You Spay a Dog?

When should you spay a dog? Spaying is a procedure that prevents female dogs from getting pregnant. This involves surgically removing both ovaries and the uterus of your female dog. It is a major surgery that greatly changes your dog's quality of life, enjoying many health benefits and freedom. 

But when should you spay a dog? In this article, we've come up with the right time to spay a dog, its benefits, what to expect, and how to deal with your fur-baby's post-operation situation. 

"Spaying reduces risks of your female dog from illnesses such as uterine infections, mammary gland cancer and pyometra (infection of the uterus)."

"Spaying reduces risks of your female dog from illnesses such as uterine infections, mammary gland cancer and pyometra (infection of the uterus)."

BENEFITS OF SPAYING

According to the experts at ASPCAby spaying your fur-baby, you’ll be able help control the pet homelessness crisis, which causes millions of healthy pets being euthanized in the United States each year. This is straightforwardly because there aren’t enough homes to go around. Want more? There are also behavioral and medical benefits to spaying your female dogs. 

One of spaying's major benefit for us and our fur-babies is preventing unplanned pregnancies. But here are more reasons why it's a great idea to spay: 

  • Reduces risks of certain illnesses. Spaying reduces risks of your female dog from illnesses such as uterine infections, mammary gland cancer and pyometra (infection of the uterus). Spaying promotes a longer and healthier life 
  • Spaying also keeps you away from having to deal with male dogs who get easily attracted to your fur-princess' smell when she's in heat. 
  • Spaying keeps your female dog from escaping away from home. If your dog is not spayed, she will find all means to be able to escape the house and go find some dog to mate 
  • Spaying drops the unpleasant odor frequently linked with a dog in heat. Spaying eliminates the rather unattractive (read: totally offensive) odor often associated with a dog in heat. Your nose may not be as sensitive as your dog’s, but you will still be able to smell this. 
  • By spaying, you will no longer have to deal with mess and stains all over your house as your female dog will no longer go into heat. 

Remember, un-spayed female dogs go into heat about once every eight months, and it lasts for as long as three weeks each time. Also, they don’t go into menopause. They regularly go into heat for their entire lives–unless they’re spayed. 

WHEN IT'S TIME TO SPAY YOUR DOG

Traditionally, spaying your dog happens between 6 to 9 months since most anesthetic and surgical techniques available require the dog to be at least 6 months to be able to undergo the major operation. But as technology has advanced, dogs as young as 4 to 6 months old can already be spayed as recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). By this age, a dog's sex organs are fully developed. 

But what is stated are just recommendations. The best way to know the appropriate time for spaying your dog is by talking to your veterinarian so that your dog's health condition and needs can be taken into consideration, especially if your dog is nearing her senior years.

POST-SURGERY EXPECTATIONS AND MANAGEMENT

Since spaying is a major surgery, post-surgery care has a great role to play for your fur-baby's fast recovery. Here are some things you can expect after spaying and things you can do to help get your dog recovered in no time. 

  • You can take your dog home immediately after the surgery but some pet parents opt to let their dogs remain overnight in their vet's clinic to give her more time to rest after the surgery. At home, provide a stress-free environment so your spayed dog won't get stressed out so easily. Let her rest in an area of your house far from loud noises, visitors, and other pets. 
  • Your dog might experience nausea and appetite loss for the first few days after the spaying surgery. Do not force-feed her. She will eat and drink water when she's ready.  
  • Restrict her activities for the following week, since a lot of movement and strenuous activities might cause irritations or infections on the incision. 
  • As the incision gets better, it will become a little itchy and your fur-baby will begin to scratch or lick the area. If she keeps on doing this, it will irritate the incision. You can let her wear an e-collar or wrap a Pet Parents® Washable Belly Bands around the incision area to prevent her from licking or scratching the incision.  
  • A few days after the surgery, your fur-baby will still be unable to walk to pee or to have full control of her bladder. That's why Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers play such an important role so that your dog can just pee without the mess and without having to bathe in her own urine. For added protection, you can also use Pawtect™ Pads. 
  • According to Dog Time, your fur-baby may want to play as she starts to feel better, but try to restrict physical activity until she has fully recovered. Your vet can advise you on when it is okay to let your dog exercise again. 
  • Be aware of your dog's nutritional needs. Provide Pet Parents® Multivitamin SoftSupps™ with a variety of vitamins and nutrients that will help meet your dog's nutritional needs for a faster recovery. These supplements contain: (1) PurforMSM®, a branded ingredient and one of the purest forms of MSM in the world. This may help maintain cushion between joints to help support overall mobility & joint stress recovery; (2) Enzymes, Niacin & our proprietary probiotic blend (1 B CFU) that help support proper digestion & bowel health; (3) Folic Acid & Coenzyme Q10, a pure compound that helps promote normal circulation & support normal cardiovascular function, and many more!  

Note: Call your vet as soon as you see any strange symptoms or abnormal changes in your fur-baby that concern you. You may observe right away after surgery that your dog isn’t her usual self. 

    Spaying a dog is beneficial, not only to you but for your fur-baby the most. Aside from preventing unplanned breedings and litters, it also lessens the risk of your fur-baby from developing life-threatening diseases.

    "Your dog might experience nausea and appetite loss for the first few days after the spaying surgery."

    The Author:

    Micka V.

    Micka Virtudazo is a full-time content creator at Pet Parents who lives with thirteen adorable American Bullies and a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix named Gretel. She especially enjoys writing how-to articles as she feels through this she can connect to other pet parents on a more personal level.

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