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Getting Your Dog Fixed: When & What to Know

Getting Your Dog Fixed: When & What to Know

Having your dog spayed does more than just prevent them from having puppies, this can also help protect them from a variety of serious conditions and diseases. Here, our Westfield vets share some information about getting your dog fixed and what you need to know about the procedure.

Why is it a good idea to get your dog fixed?

Wondering if you should have your dog spayed or neutered is normal when you have a new puppy, especially if your dog will ever socialize and be around other dogs.

The benefits of spaying or neutering your dog don't stop at the prevention of puppies. You will also see an improvement in unwanted behaviors and there will be a reduction in the risk of your dog developing various conditions and diseases such as certain types of cancer.

What are some of the benefits of spaying female dogs?

Unfortunately, shelters across the country are full of dogs that are unwanted. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 3.3 million dogs pass through shelters each year. Some other benefits of spaying your dog include:

Protection From Diseases and Health Conditions

Spaying your female dog before her first 'heat' can help to prevent uterine infections and breast tumors which can often be malignant or cancerous.

Avoiding Unnecessary Financial Costs

Preventing the birth of unwanted puppies is good for your pocketbook. While this service is not free, the cost of caring for a pregnant dog, delivery of the puppies and the ongoing care of all the dogs is quite expensive.

What if You Don't Spay?

When female dogs are not spayed, they go through a reproductive stage often referred to as 'heat' about twice a year. During this stage, male dogs will be attracted to your female for about 18 days. This can lead to unwanted male dogs visiting your yard and possibly unwanted puppies.

What are the main benefits of neutering male dogs?

Neutering your male dog is another way that you can help reduce the population of unwanted dogs in the US. Along with this, some of the other benefits of neutering your dog are:

Preventing Serious Diseases

By neutering your dog, you eliminate the risk of them developing testicular cancer and significantly reduce the risk of prostate diseases which can be serious. Neutering also helps to reduce the risk of perianal tumors and perineal hernias in your dog.

Improving Your Dog's Behavior

Neutering can help to curb your dog's desire to roam and may help to reduce behaviors such as mounting and aggression towards other dogs.

What if You Don't Neuter?

There are a number of undesirable behaviors that are typical of male dogs that have not been neutered. These include heightened territorial behavior, being over-protective of people and toys, roaming (seeking female dogs), and aggression towards other dogs.

At what age should you get your dog fixed?

It is most commonly have puppies spayed or neutered once they are 5 to 9 months of age. Adult dogs can also be spayed or neutered. Consult your vet to find out when you should get your dog fixed. 

What happens during the spay or neuter procedure?

Leading up to the day of surgery, your vet will have provided you with a complete pre-surgical packet including all of the steps you should take in preparation for your dog's surgery. This includes what their food and water intake should look like right before the procedure.

Your vet will provide you with the post-operative care instructions as soon as the surgery has been completed. These will help you keep your dog comfortable while ensuring their recovery. Depending on which procedure has been performed, pain medication may be sent home with your dog.

Generally, female dogs take longer to recover after being spayed than male dogs after being neutered.

Your female dog will no longer be able to have puppies immediately after the surgery has been completed. Your male dog, on the other hand, may still be able to rather puppies for up to 6 weeks after surgery.

To learn more about getting your dog fixed, contact our Westfield vets today to book an appointment.

Now Welcoming New Patients

Looking for a vet in Westfield? Our vets at Westfield Animal Hospital are now accepting new patients! Our friendly and welcoming vets love providing cats, dogs, and exotic pets with high-quality veterinary care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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