Your new female puppy can be spayed any time after she reaches eight weeks of age. Spaying is often best done before your puppy reaches her first heat cycle, which often occurs after six months of age (but varies depending on the breed of dog you have).
If you aren't planning on breeding your puppy, having her spayed is the best way to give your new pup a healthy life. You also do your part to keep pet populations down - there are over three million dogs placed in animal shelters in the US every year, partly attributed to the negligence of dog owners to spaying their dogs.
Consider the following health and personal benefits of spaying your puppy.
You Don't Have to Deal with Heat Cycles
When a female dog goes into heat, she produces many of the same reproductive menstrual symptoms a female human does, including swelling of the vaginal region and bleeding from the vagina. A dog's heat cycle can last up to three weeks and occurs twice a year.
If you don't want your female dog to get pregnant (or you don't want to deal with having to pen your dog up or deal with heat cycles), then spaying your dog is a permanent solution. The surgery is routine and is performed in your veterinarian's clinic.
You Prolong Your Dog's Life
Breast tumors, common with unspayed female dogs, produce cancerous illnesses in 50% of afflicted dogs. You can prevent your dog's chances of getting a reproductive cancer by having your puppy spayed at a young age.
Uterine infections are also common among female dogs who have not been spayed. To best prevent health problems in your puppy, it's advised to have her spayed before her first heat cycle.
You Have a Better-Behaved Dog
When your female dog reaches reproductive age, the hormones that cause a heat cycle can cause your dog to become agitated and can encourage her need to roam. To give her a healthier mindset and allow your dog to be more obedient as she ages, spay your puppy when your vet recommends.
You Put Less Stress on Your Puppy
The younger the dog is when she gets spayed, the more successful and less impacting the surgery will be on your canine companion. In general, puppies heal faster from a spay surgery than older dogs.
Keep in mind that if your puppy is currently in heat when she gets spayed, the surgery can be more serious as there is a greater risk for bleeding complications. Furthermore, your dog may still give off hormones that are attractive to male dogs if you spay your puppy during a heat cycle, which can be fatal if your dog accidentally gets bred after being spayed.
Your vet will recommend spaying your dog prior to her first heat cycle, or, if she is already in heat, will perform the surgery after the heat cycle is fully completed in order to protect the health of your puppy.
There are many reasons to spay your female dog. The surgery typically involves an overnight stay in the veterinary clinic and plenty of rest and restricted movement for your puppy when she arrives home. After your puppy is spayed, check sutures on a regular basis to make sure they are not torn or infected, and take your puppy in for her recommended checkup a few days after she comes home.
Many of your dog's veterinary needs can be addressed in our friendly and professional clinic. Call us at Irby-Overton Veterinary Hospital for any questions regarding spaying or to make an appointment for your puppy.