When Is the Right Time to Spay/Neuter My Pet?

Determining the right time to spay or neuter your pet is a question that many pet parents continue to ask. Opinions seem to be varied even as the surgery becomes more acceptable. In recent years, animal shelter groups and those involved in animal rescue have been advocating for earlier surgery. 


The groups feel that spaying and neutering young animals are the most effective ways to prevent unwanted litter. On the other hand, studies show the benefits of waiting until the animal is slightly older before performing surgery. 




Preventing Pet Overpopulation



Spaying and neutering pets have benefits for the animals and the human population. Everyone would agree that the sight of strays roaming in the neighborhood is not a welcome one. The battle against overpopulation of pets continues, and sterilization is performed routinely in animal shelter facilities. The procedure is performed on puppies and kittens at six months old or even younger. Early sterilization can prevent many issues.




Privately-Owned Pets



Many pet parents are heeding the call to have their pets spayed or neutered. The availability of information continues to convince more people that the procedure is safe and beneficial. Today, the surgery is quick and less complicated, which works as an incentive for skeptical pet owners. 


The animals do not experience discomfort, which is something that concerns many people. Understanding the health benefits of the procedure is important, as is knowing the right time for the procedure.




Benefits of Spaying and Neutering



Spaying or neutering a pet can keep away serious diseases. Spaying your pet will reduce their risk of getting mammary cancer, which can be fatal in many cases. Neutering your pet will eliminate their risk of getting testicular cancer. 


The surgery helps limit pet populations. Pets that have been spayed or neutered are less likely to exhibit unwelcome behavior during heat cycles. This includes constant barking, yowling, crying, aggression, territory-marking, roaming, and fighting with other animals.




Surgery for Cats 



Cats enter the heat cycle as early as four months but more often between five to six months. Having kittens sterilized at this age will help prevent unwanted litter. At this age, the kittens are more likely to bounce back quickly from the surgery. It is for this reason that the AAHA has endorsed the “Fixing Felines by Five” (months) initiative.




Surgery for Dogs



AAHA recommends spaying or neutering dogs based on their size. Smaller breeds should be spayed or neutered at between five to six months. Large breed dogs can be sterilized later when they are around nine to 15 months for males and earlier for females. The right time to neuter the larger breeds will depend on different factors, including lifestyle and risk of disease. 


There is limited data on the best time to spay and neuter pets. There are some guidelines, but they differ depending on the particular animal. The best way to determine when to neuter your pet is by talking to your vet. The veterinarian will give you the best advice based on your dog's breed and other health risks.




For more on when to spay/neuter your pet, visit Community Pet Outreach at our office in Lewisville, Texas. You can call (972) 848-8930 today to schedule an appointment.

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