The Right Age to Neuter/Spay Your Dog

The Right Age to Neuter/Spay Your Dog

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If youโ€™re a dog owner, youโ€™ve obviously come across the term โ€œspayingโ€ or โ€œneuteringโ€ at some point in time, depending on the gender of your dog. Well, spaying and neutering, basically, refer to the same thing, which is sterilizing your dogs to prevent them from reproducing beyond a point.Female dogs get spayed, while males get neutered. The purpose of spaying/neutering is to implement a certain level of reproductive control over animals that are not in a position to reproduce or not favorable for breeding. It also helps dog owners eliminate problematic physical and behavioral characteristics that are present due to the production of reproductive hormones.Medically, the procedures are known as ovariohysterectomy (spaying) for female dogs and castration (neutering) for male dogs. The former involves removing the ovaries and the uterus, while the latter involves removing the tests and related epididymis. Castration is also known as gonadectomy, which simply means โ€œremoval of the reproductive organs or gonadsโ€.

How do the surgeries/procedures work

In female dogs, removing the ovaries stops the secretion of progesterone and estrogen. In males, removing the testes stops the secretion of testosterone. These hormones play a primary role in how a dog, male or female, changes both, physically and behaviorally. For instance, in females, progesterone and estrogen are what cause heat behavior, estrous bleeding, and swelling of the vulva. In males, testosterone production leads arousal, roaming, and mounting.There are other hormone related changes that take place as well. For instance, the levels for hormones that control the secretion of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone become elevated.To put it simply, the urge to mate is eliminated and behaviorally, the dogs tend to become relatively more docile. However, docile behavior may not be the end result in every case. In fact, some dogs become even more aggressive.

The right time

In general, veterinarians suggest spaying/neutering at the age of 6 to 9 months for both, males and females. However, there is no scientific documentation to support this. There have never been any studies exploring the effects of spaying/neutering on dogs across various phases of their life based on what age they were spayed/neutered at.The concept of spaying and neutering during the 6 to 9 month period is said to have been established by Americaโ€™s wealthy families, who were capable of affording pet ownership. Pet ownership wasnโ€™t always an affordable option.It is believed that these people were particular about controlling reproductive hormone related behaviors. At the same time, they also cared about the animal surviving the procedure. Naturally, veterinarians arrived at the conclusion that 6 to 9 months was an ideal time. The surgical and aesthetical techniques used during this era were one of the key factors involved in arriving at this decision.However, with advanced equipment and modern methods of surgery, it is safe for your dog to undergo the procedure even at 6 to 8 weeks. However, most people prefer the traditional age, even though there are no major complications that arise out of the present age suggestion.For more clarity on the topic, do talk to the



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