Dogs benefit from spaying and neutering in a variety of ways, both behaviorally and medically. Our Harrisburg veterinarians explain when and why you should have your dog or puppy spayed or neutered.
When should I spay or neuter my dog?
While the most common age for spaying or neutering in dogs is six to nine months, spaying and neutering can be done in younger and older animals safely, as long as they're healthy.
What is spaying?
Spaying is the sterilization female animals by removing their reproductive organs.
What is neutering?
Neutering is the sterilization of male animals by removing the testes.
What are the benefits of spaying and neutering?
The benefits of neutering your male dog or spaying your female dog are outlined below.
Spaying helps prevent medical problems like uterine infections and breast tumors. Spaying your dog before her first heat cycle provides the best protection from these diseases.
Another benefit is that your spayed female dog won't go into heat. Heat cycles can vary, but female dogs usually go into heat every six months, and it lasts between 2 - 4 weeks. During this time, she will excrete a bloody vaginal discharge, and may seem clingy or jumpy and on edge.
Neutering your male dog can help prevent testicular cancer and certain prostate problems. Neutered male dogs are less likely to roam or try to escape from home, which in turn minimizes their risk of injury in traffic and fights with other dogs.
Unneutered males are more likely to spray urine around the house to mark their territory. Males who have been neutered are less likely to mount other dogs, people, or inanimate objects. Aggressive behavior can also be avoided by neutering dogs when they are young.
Because the cost of spaying or neutering your dog is significantly less than the cost of having and caring for a litter of puppies, spaying or neutering your dog can save you money and time in the long run.
Less Pet Overpopulation
There would be fewer dogs wasting away in shelters if all pet owners spayed and neutered their dogs. There would be fewer animals on the streets and fewer euthanasias as a result of this reduction.