Anyone who owns a pet knows how crucial spaying and neutering is for cats and dogs. Sterilizing pets prevents unwanted litters, stops hormonal and behavioral issues related to mating, and protects against potential health issues. Most are aware that it needs to be done. but aren’t sure when a pet should be spayed or neutered. Read on to learn about the best time for a veterinary service to spay or neuter your pet.
The Best Time for a Veterinary Service to Spay or Neuter Pets
Kittens can be spayed and neutered at as young as eight weeks old, as long as they weigh over two pounds. Surgeries done this early are considered pediatric or early-age. The benefit of having kittens up for adoption fixed so early is that it reduces the development of spraying as a behavior and removes the risk of pregnancy for females. However, kittens can be delicate at this age and surgery requires thorough training and extra caution. Post-surgical complications can occur when active young kittens squirm and pick at their stitches.
Five to six months of age for fixing is considered safer by some veterinarians. Cats are a less worrisome size and they are likely to be more accustomed to their owners, so many vets feel more comfortable using anesthesia and performing surgery. Sterilization at this time has essentially the same benefits as early spay/neuter, though there is the risk that if cats are not spayed or neutered before adoption, pet owners will not take their cat in for the procedure themselves. This increases the potential for an unwanted litter, leading to possible strays or kittens being put up for adoption.
As with kittens, puppies can get fixed as early as eight weeks old. This is more commonly performed between six to nine months of age. The earlier a female dog is spayed, the less risk she has of developing breast cancer—the most commonly occurring cancer in dogs. For females, the ideal time for spaying would be somewhere between six months of age and her first heat.
When males are neutered, it decreases the likelihood of wandering. Intact males will roam looking for mates and potentially put themselves in danger. Dogs neutered at a young age are less likely to mount or display aggressive behaviors later in life. Although dogs in adulthood can still be spayed and neutered, older and overweight dogs are the most likely to have complications after sterilization.
Spayed and neutered animals tend to live longer than intact animals, though the exact reason why is unknown. Different factors such as age, sex, breed, and health can determine whether a cat or dog is fit for sterilization. In the end, it’s best to consult your veterinarian about when they believe your pet should be spayed or neutered.
The experienced vets at Greatwood Veterinary Hospital of Richmond, TX, understand the importance of spaying and neutering your pet. At this animal hospital, they go through extensive tests to ensure your cat or dog can undergo the procedure safely. With extra care and attentiveness, your pet will be fixed and ready to get back on their feet in no time. To learn more about their veterinary services, call (281) 342-7770 or visit their website.