Spay Or Neuter: When?

At some point, just about every pup owner finds themselves facing the question of whether or not to spay or neuter their pup. Then comes the decision of when. I think this is one of the most discussed and fought over topics there is in regard to dog ownership. You have the vets saying one thing and people saying another which can make the decision overwhelming.

Vets take the stance that pups should be spayed and neutered at about 6 months of age. Most folks that have researched this issue say that pups should not be fixed until they are a minimum of 18 months old. The preferably age is 2 years old. By that age their growth plates are definitely closed. I tend to agree with the 2 year mark. Waiting until then will decrease the odds of  health issues associated with early spay and neuter such as osteosarcoma  (bone cancer). If you happen to have a female with a recessed vulva, there is a very good chance it will correct itself with her first heat.

I believe most vets and shelters push for early spay or neuter to avoid unwanted litters. I am also not an advocate of unwanted litters, there are too many animals in the shelters now. If you would like to spay or neuter you dog and cannot afford to do so, check with your local animal shelter. Often times, there are low cost programs available to help with the costs. You can contact the rescues in your area or check with your township and county for information on available programs in your area.

Spaying and neutering is a very personal decision. I believe the more knowledge you have on the subject, the better. I’ve added a link to one of the best research papers I’ve ever read on this subject. It is a semi-long read but I believe it is well worth the time. There is no doubt in my mind that you will be able to make an informed decision and have no regrets in the future.

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