Spaying Your Female Dog: A Guide

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Having your dog neutered or spayed is one of the most responsible things that you can do as a pet owner. While spaying a female dog is not quite as straightforward as neutering a male, it can provide your pet with a host of benefits. Here is what you need to know.

The Benefits of Having Your Dog Spayed

The leading benefit of having your female dog spayed is that she will be unable to contribute to the problems of overpopulation within the animal world. Spaying means having surgery to remove her uterus and ovaries, ultimately preventing her from being able to fall pregnant or to enter her ‘heat’ cycle every eight months. The reality is that thousands of perfectly healthy animals are euthanized in shelters around the USA every year and every time a new dog gives birth, these numbers only continue to increase.

Having said that, however, there are many other benefits to spaying your canine. For example, it is believed to reduce her risk of falling victim to various diseases, including cancer of the mammary glands and a fatal infection of the uterus known as pyometra.

Furthermore, you will not have to worry about the mess that comes with a fertile female dog or have to keep her outside to avoid getting blood on your floors and furniture. You can also enjoy peace of mind as you will not have to stress about male dogs desperately attempting to get close to your pooch at all hours of the day or night. Anyone who has experienced having a female dog in heat will know that males will jump fences and crawl through holes in the wall to mate!

When is the right time to spay your dog?

It is in your dog’s best interest to consult with a vet, like those at Heart + Paw, for a tailored recommendation based on your dog, her age, and her health. As a general rule of thumb, though, most dogs can undergo the spaying procedure any time after they reach twelve weeks of age. It is also usually recommended to have it done before she goes into heat for the first time in order to reap the maximum health benefits.

Most female dogs will go into heat for the first time when they reach six or seven months of age. If your dog is older and you have decided to spay, it is not recommended to do so while your dog is in heat. In fact, most vets will wait two to three months following the heat cycle before proceeding with the surgery to reduce the risk of complications.

Caring for your dog after the surgery

Your dog may be required to stay at the vet overnight for monitoring before being sent home with pain medication the next day. She may be reluctant to eat for a few days after that but should be back to her old self again within a week or two following the surgery. Keep her calm during this time of healing and take her back to the vet to have her stitches removed as per his or her instructions, usually seven to 10 days later.

Make the decision to spay today. Contact your vet for guidance whenever you are ready to proceed.