How Does My Pet’s Health Benefit from Spaying and Neutering?
Your pet’s spay or neuter surgery can have long-term benefits for their health by reducing or even preventing the development of certain diseases, such as:
- Mammary gland tumors (females)
- Ovarian and uterine tumors (females)
- Pyometra/infection of the uterus (females)
- Prostate cancer (males)
- Testicular cancer (males)
Dogs and cats may also show a marked decrease in some hormone-driven behaviors, such as:
- Escaping/roaming in search of a mate
When Should Pets Be Spayed and Neutered?
The right time to spay and neuter dogs and cats depends on a couple of factors. First, your pet needs to be healthy before undergoing surgery, with minimal risk for anesthesia complications. Next, we need to make sure they are the right weight/size. If they are too small, this could lead to greater anesthesia risks. Additionally, large-breed dogs need more time to finish growing before they can be spayed or neutered. We typically recommend waiting until a large-breed dog is 12-18 months old before doing their surgery. This ensures healthy joint development, which relies on the sex hormones. Interrupting this growth with a premature spay/neuter surgery can result in joint problems.
Cats and small and medium-sized dogs are less at risk for joint development issues, and can usually be spayed and neutered earlier in life.