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At what age can you neuter or spay a dog

Updated on June 30, 2009

A dog would be a great addition to the family. However, along with the decision to get a dog is the responsibility that will last for years…for as long as the dog is with the family. This responsibility goes beyond filling the doggie bowl with food and water. Dog ownership entails visits to the vet, endless walks to make sure that the exercise requirement of the dog is met. Needless to say, grooming would also be necessary to ensure the health and the good appearance of the dog. A dog owner would also have to make an important decision regarding the pet. Should I have Guard neutered? Do I need to take Peachy to the vet to be spayed?

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Why is it necessary to have the dog neutered or spayed? Neutering and spaying are both surgical procedures. Spaying is the removal of the uterus and ovaries. Neutering is the surgical procedure done to totally remove the dog’s testes through a small incision. There are many myths regarding these surgical procedures. A lot of dog owners are hesitant to take these options because of moral issues. However, it can never be doubted that spaying and neutering does have benefits. Spaying reduces the risks of uterine infections as well as ovarian and mammary gland cancers. Neutering prevents the development of testicle, anus and prostate cancers. These procedures are noted to lessen the aggressive behavior of the dog. But what is most important is the fact that neutering and spaying prevents unwanted pregnancies. Hundreds of adorable puppies are put to sleep simply because dog owners have not made measures to prevent accidental breeding of their pets.

Dog experts believe that it would be better to have the spaying and neutering procedures done before the dog has attained full sexual maturity. Depending on the breed and the size of the dog, this can be between 6 to 8 months of age.  Spaying and neutering can be done anytime but it would be advisable to have the procedure done earlier than later not only to prevent the development of some forms of cancer but also to prevent the development of unwanted behavior. This notion though was refuted by some dog experts believing that too early spaying and neutering will “switch off” the physical and the psychological growth of the dog. So what do you think?  Should you take your dog to the vet to be spayed or neutered or should you wait a while but make sure that the dog can not go behind your back to meet other dogs?

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