Neutering and spaying dogs: what you need to know

You might be considering getting your dog spayed or neutered, especially if they’ve reached puberty. There are quite a lot of things to consider before going ahead with it, as once it’s done you won’t be able to reverse the procedure.

What is neutering?

Your dog will undergo different operations when they are neutered, depending on whether they’re male or female.

  • Males are castrated, which means their testicles are removed.
  • Females are spayed, where the ovaries and uterus (womb) are removed.

As the male’s testicles are removed it takes away the main source of testosterone, which means the effects of the hormone are also reduced whereas removing a female’s uterus means she is unable to become pregnant.

These operations are performed under general anaesthesia and pets will be carefully monitored during and after surgery. Dogs might experience some discomfort following the surgery, but they will be given painkillers to control this, and they’ll be back to normal in no time at all.

Why should I get my dog neutered?

There are quite a lot of reasons why getting your pet neutering is a good idea. Here’s just a few:

Female dogs: 

  • Importantly it can prevent your canine companion from developing serious health issues in the future, like certain cancers or pyometra, a serious infection in the uterus. In dogs, neutering greatly reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancers occurring as well. 
  • Female dogs won’t have seasons which means you don’t have to worry about the mess and temperamental behaviour caused by hormonal changes.

Male dogs: 

  • Neutering can prevent testicular cancer in your dog. 
  • Having your dog neutered can reduce their drive to roam to look for a mate. Not only does this prevent unwanted pregnancies but your pet is also likely to stay closer to home, meaning they have less of a chance to go missing or be involved in accidents. 

When should I get my dog neutered?

Dogs can be neutered within their first year from six months old, and some vets recommend letting a female dog have their first season before neutering. This is something you can discuss with your vet and they will be able to come up with the best neutering plan for your pet.

What happens to my dog after they’re neutered?

There might be a change in some extreme behaviours that are hormone-fuelled, like roaming, mounting or fighting. 

Although, it’s worth noting these are all learned behaviours that are likely to remain unless behavioural training is implemented.

As your dog’s calorie intake needs fall after being neutered, many owners notice that their pet gains weight after spaying. To avoid issues such as obesity, it’s important to make sure you change their diet accordingly by reducing portion sizes. You will be able to speak to your vet about their diet and daily calories after surgery so that your cat or dog can remain healthy and slim.

How much does neutering cost?

The cost of neutering will vary depending on whether you have a cat or a dog, and their gender. The size of your dog is also a factor considered in pricing the procedure for dogs.

You will be able to check with your vet beforehand and if it’s a bit too expensive most vets now offer payment plans. Different vets will charge different prices so it might be beneficial for you to ask for quotes from all local veterinary practices.

Is neutering covered by pet insurance?

Routine, preventative or elective procedures aren’t usually covered by pet insurance policies as they can be budgeted for and are all part of being a responsible pet owner. If you have any concerns about the costs, you could speak to your vet about setting up a payment plan.

Remember: As part of our routine procedure exclusions, we won’t cover claims for retained testes in pets. 

For expert advice from the comfort of your home, any time day or night, download the Joii Pet Care app and chat to a vet about neutering your pet!

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