, pub-1355929376209830, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0Puppy Spaying and Neutering: Essential Information for Responsible Pet Owners - Puppy Small

Puppy Spaying and Neutering

Puppy spaying and neutering is a common practice in the United States, with many pet owners opting to have their dogs sterilized for a variety of reasons. Spaying refers to the surgical removal of a female dog’s reproductive organs, while neutering involves the removal of a male dog’s testicles. Both procedures are typically performed under general anesthesia, and require a period of recovery before the dog can resume normal activities.

There are many health benefits associated with spaying and neutering dogs. For example, spaying can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in female dogs, while neutering can help prevent testicular cancer in males. Additionally, sterilization can reduce the risk of unwanted litters, which can contribute to pet overpopulation and the euthanasia of millions of dogs and cats each year.

Despite the many benefits of spaying and neutering, there are also some risks and misconceptions associated with the procedures. For example, some pet owners believe that sterilization will cause their dogs to become overweight or lazy, or that it will change their dogs’ personalities. However, these concerns are largely unfounded, and most dogs experience only minor discomfort and a short recovery period after being spayed or neutered.

Key Takeaways

  • Spaying and neutering can provide many health benefits for dogs, including a reduced risk of certain types of cancer and unwanted litters.
  • There are some misconceptions and risks associated with spaying and neutering, but most dogs experience only minor discomfort and a short recovery period after the procedures.
  • Pet owners should consult with their veterinarian to determine the appropriate age and timing for spaying or neutering their dogs, and consider low-cost options such as spay and neuter clinics or animal shelters.

Health Benefits and Risks


Spaying and neutering puppies have several health benefits. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, spaying female dogs and cats can prevent uterine infections and reduce the risk of breast cancer. Neutering male dogs can eliminate their risk of testicular cancer and reduce their risk of developing enlarged prostate glands.

Spaying and neutering also reduces the risk of certain behavioral problems such as marking and aggression. It can also help prevent unwanted pregnancies and reduce the number of animals euthanized in shelters.


Like any surgical procedure, spaying and neutering carry some risks. Some dogs may experience complications such as infections, vomiting, diarrhea, or discharge after the surgical procedure. However, these risks are generally low and can be minimized by following proper post-operative care.

There is also some concern that early spaying or neutering may increase the risk of certain cancers, such as mast cell tumors or hemangiosarcoma. However, more research is needed to determine the extent of this risk and whether it varies by breed.

Additionally, spaying and neutering may increase the risk of certain health problems, such as urinary incontinence or obesity. However, these risks can be minimized by providing proper exercise and nutrition.

Overall, spaying and neutering can provide several health benefits for puppies. Veterinarians can help determine the best time to spay or neuter based on the puppy’s breed, age, and overall health.

Behavioral Changes and Misconceptions

Behavioral Changes

Spaying and neutering are common procedures that can have behavioral effects on dogs. According to a study published in Psychology Today, spaying or neutering dogs can cause unexpected and unwanted behavior changes. However, the biggest change you might see is that your spayed or neutered pet is less likely to get into a fight with another animal or run away in search of a mate. This is because they’re free from fluctuations in hormones. Male cats, once neutered, are also less inclined to mark their territory.

While spaying or neutering can decrease certain behaviors, some behaviors are learned and may require behavioral therapy. Neutering might decrease these behaviors, but completely eliminating them may require behavioral therapy.


There are several misconceptions about spaying and neutering dogs. One common misconception is that pets should be bred because they’re a purebred. However, breeding should only be done by professional breeders who understand the genetics and health of the parents and can provide appropriate care for the mother and her puppies.

Another misconception is that spaying or neutering can lead to weight gain and lethargy. However, this is not necessarily true. While spaying or neutering can affect metabolism, proper exercise and diet can help prevent weight gain.

Additionally, there is a misconception that dogs should be spayed or neutered during their first heat cycle. However, this is not necessary and may even increase the risk of complications during the procedure. It is recommended to spay or neuter dogs before their first heat cycle or after their cycles have ended.

In summary, spaying and neutering can have behavioral effects on dogs, but it can also make them healthier and less likely to roam or engage in marking behavior. However, it is important to understand the misconceptions surrounding spaying and neutering and to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your canine companion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best age to spay or neuter a puppy?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, puppies should be spayed or neutered between 6 and 9 months of age. However, some veterinarians may recommend earlier or later spaying or neutering depending on the breed, size, and overall health of the puppy.

When to neuter a dog?

Neutering a dog is the process of surgically removing the testicles. It is recommended to neuter a dog between 6 and 12 months of age, although some breeds may benefit from waiting until they are older. Neutering can help prevent certain health issues, such as testicular cancer and prostate problems.

How much does it cost to spay a dog in NYC?

The cost of spaying a dog in NYC can vary depending on the size of the dog, the veterinarian performing the procedure, and any additional services required. On average, spaying a dog in NYC can cost between $200 and $500. Some low-cost spay and neuter clinics may offer discounted rates for those who meet certain income requirements.

Are puppies calmer after being spayed?

Spaying a female dog can help reduce aggression and anxiety, but it may not necessarily make them calmer. It is important to note that each dog is unique and may respond differently to spaying or neutering. It is best to consult with a veterinarian to determine if spaying or neutering is the right choice for your puppy.

What are the side effects of spaying a female dog?

Spaying a female dog can cause some temporary side effects, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and vomiting. However, these side effects usually subside within a few days. In rare cases, spaying can lead to more serious complications, such as infection or bleeding. It is important to closely monitor your dog after the procedure and contact your veterinarian if you notice any concerning symptoms.

Where can I find free or low-cost spay and neuter services near me?

Many animal shelters and low-cost spay and neuter clinics offer free or low-cost spay and neuter services for those who meet certain income requirements. The ASPCA website provides a database of low-cost spay and neuter clinics across the United States. Additionally, contacting local animal shelters or rescue organizations may provide additional resources for affordable spay and neuter services.

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