If you have a dog or love dogs, chances are you’ve heard about “spaying” or “neutering” before. Spaying and neutering is an important surgical procedure that prevents your pup from reproducing.
However, many people have misconceptions of these procedures. In truth not only is sterilization a safe and affordable surgery, it also has no effect on your dog’s personality, intelligence or weight.
Of course, it’s also important to understand how you can prepare your dog for a surgical procedure like this. So let’s learn more about what spaying and neutering entails, and what you can do to help your dog prepare for this procedure.
What is Spaying and Neutering?
In female dogs, spaying refers to the removal of just their ovaries or both their uterus and ovaries. In male dogs, neutering involves the removal of their testicles.
There are several different methods of neutering or spaying your dog. While the majority of sterilization is done surgically, there are also new nonsurgical methods that are currently under development.
Ovariohysterectomy - This is the most common type of spaying, where the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus are removed from a female dog. This makes them unable to reproduce and also eliminates any breeding instinct-related behaviour.
Ovariectomy - Another alternative to a normal spay, this procedure removes only the ovaries of your dog. However, this renders them unable to reproduce and also eliminates their breeding instinct and behaviour.
Hysterectomy - Unlike a typical spay, this type of procedure removes only the uterus and part of the fallopian tubes. This allows your dog to retain their breeding instinct.
Orchiectomy - This refers to the most common type of neuter, where the testes are removed from a male dog. It causes them to be unable to reproduce and reduces male breeding instincts and behaviours.
Vasectomy - Compared to a normal neuter, this procedure revolves around the removal of the vas deferens. This is a portion of the testes that conducts sperm. Similar to the Hysterectomy, this procedure allows your dog to possibly retain their breeding instinct.
If you’re uncertain which method of spaying or neutering is suitable for your dog, make sure to check with a veterinarian!
Why Spay or Neuter?
Every year, there are millions of unwanted dogs, including puppies, that are euthanized. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to minimize the chance of having unwanted puppies by spaying or neutering your dog.
Furthermore, sterilization also helps protect your dog from serious health issues like prostate cancer or uterine infections. It also reduces your pup’s heat cycles, as well as other behavioural signs of your dog in heat. Some of these behavioural problems include being inclined to roam around and wanting to go out during their mating season.
Preparing Your Dog For Sterilization
Again, the procedure of spaying or neutering your pup is very safe, especially given that it is such a common procedure.
Nevertheless, it is still a relatively major surgical procedure. To help make the process of getting this procedure done smooth, it’s vital to do your research and prepare ahead of time.
The most appropriate time for your dog to be spayed or neutered depends on their breed, age and physical condition. But as a rule of thumb, dogs should be neutered at around 6 months of age. If you can, make sure to discuss spaying or neutering with your veterinarian to get their advice.
Once your dog is neutered, they may be very groggy and subdued. They may also try to lick their incisions, or play around too roughly. This may open up their incision or cause any other issues. To help your dog recover safely, prepare an essential home recovery kit with the following items:
Dog Beds - Having a comfortable place to sleep off the remaining anaesthesia in their system will make recovery much more enjoyable for your pup. Plus, if your dog tends to be more active, a cozy and snug dog bed like Henry Hottie’s Orthopedic Dog Bed can help tempt them into catching more sleep!
Dog Cones/Collars - To prevent your pup from disturbing their wounds, a dog cone or collar is absolutely important. A comfortable collar like KONG’s Cloud Dog Collar or Ez Clear Dog Collar can help make this process easier.
Calming Aids - If your dog is prone to anxiety or can be very active, a calming aid or two can be a lifesaver whether you choose to use chews or aromatherapy. NaturVet’s Quiet Moments Calming Aid Soft Chews can definitely help to promote relaxation in your dog during this vital recovery period.
Monitoring Your Pup After Their Surgery
Outside of preparing important products to help ease your pup through their recovery, it’s also important to keep an eye out on your pup for signs of complications or to ensure they don’t reopen their wounds.
During the 7-10 day recovery period, make sure to limit your dog’s activity. Avoid taking them on long walks or allowing them to jump or run around the home. If you can, try to confine them to a small room if you’re not able to supervise them.
Make sure to also keep the incision area clean and dry. Avoid bathing your pup and try to keep your dog indoors as much as possible.
If your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms, consult your veterinarian immediately as they could be signs of post-surgery complications:
- Pale gums
- Unsteady gait
- Loss of appetite or decreased water intake
- Discharge or bleeding from the incision
- Difficulty urinating or defecating
- Labored breathing
With the continued advancement of technology in veterinary science, common procedures like spaying and neutering are becoming safer and more affordable. If you’re not looking to breed your own pups, spaying or neutering your dog is an important step to take to be a responsible pet owner.
If you’re unsure about any part of the neutering or spaying process, do consult with your vet early, especially if you’re not certain when you should bring your pup in for the procedure.
Tammi writes articles about anything from data analytics to animal health, and loves doing the occasional craft. But most importantly, she loves hanging out and doing photo-shoots with her dog.