As a dog owner, you may find it common to hear that neutering or spaying your dog is an important part of controlling how your dog behaves. What is not often clear is when a dog should undergo this treatment – there are many different opinions regarding this matter, and many contradict each other. You may have heard that it is best to spay or neuter as early as possible, whilst other sources may suggest letting your dog breed at least once before spaying or neutering.
Contrary to many beliefs, there is no medical reason to wait for a ‘first heat’ or similar waypoint before spaying or neutering your pet – you will get the most benefit if the procedure is over and done with from an early age; your vet will let you know at which age they will be ready for the procedure. This will allow your pet time to recuperate without impacting their behaviour or feelings towards you, as well as allowing them to live the rest of their lives without any need for further invasive procedures (outside of any surgery due to accidents).
Just like neutering and spaying, there are many differing opinions when it comes to vaccinating your dog and how often it should be done, if at all. Vets across the country advise many various vaccines so it is in your best interest to ask your vet for their opinion and make your decision based on their expertise. Vaccinations can cover a range of illnesses, from Rabies and Parvovirus to Canine Distemper and Hepatitis. A common vaccine that is given to dogs before they go into boarding kennels is kennel cough.
Annual boosters allow you a form of protection when it comes to these diseases. In some cases, the use of a vaccination can trigger long term immunity to the virus once the immune system is prepared to tackle it; however this is not always the standard response from the immune system. As such, annual boosters allow you to ‘top up’ the immune strength versus those diseases that your pet can be most at risk of, giving you a ‘round the year’ immunity that can be refreshed each year.