When to Spay or Neuter your Pet
Spaying/neutering your pet is one of the most responsible acts that any pet owner can undertake. This simple, elective procedure involves the removal of the reproductive organs in your pet. In females, this is the uterus and ovaries, and in males, it refers to the testicles.
There are numerous benefits to spaying/neutering your pet. Firstly, you can eliminate or reduce the risks of them developing certain types of cancers, as well as a range of other health problems including prostate problems and uterine infections. You can also prevent certain behavior problems that are common among intact animals. These include aggression, yowling, humping, urine spraying, and roaming.
There is a socially responsible benefit to neutering your pet too. There are millions of animals in America currently living in shelters because they do not have homes and loving families to go to. Many are euthanized due to the lack of resources available to offer them care. When you neuter your pet, you prevent adding to this overpopulation crisis.
So, we have established why it is important to get your pet neutered, but when should it happen?
At What Age Should I Get My Dog Neutered?
The exact age at which you should neuter your dog does vary depending on different veterinarians’ opinions. In the past, most canines were between six and nine months old when they were neutered. However, today dogs are regularly neutered as young as eight weeks old provided that they are healthy.
At What Age Should I Get My Cat Neutered?
In most instances, it is recommended that you get your cat neutered before five months old as this will afford them the greatest protection against pregnancy and disease. However, felines can be neutered as young as six weeks old if your vet feels that it is appropriate.
At What Age Should I Get My Rabbit Neutered?
It is just as important to get rabbits neutered as it is cats and dogs, particularly since they reproduce very large litters and have a short lifecycle. Females can be spayed as soon as they reach their sexual maturity, which is usually around four months old. Many vets actually prefer to wait until a bunny is at least six months since there is an increased risk in performing the surgery on younger rabbits. Male rabbits can be neutered once their testicles descend. This typically happens when they are between eight and twelve weeks old but can take a little longer in some bunnies.
What Happens if I Have An Older Pet That Hasn’t Been Neutered Before?
Whilst many responsible pet owners will ensure that their pet is spayed/neutered whilst they are still young, it isn’t unheard of for someone to adopt an adult pet who hasn’t yet had the procedure and is still ‘intact’. Fortunately, there is normally no reason why an animal can’t be spayed/neutered as an adult, although there can be a slightly higher risk of complications. Your vet will be able to advise you if it is safe and appropriate for your pet based on their individual needs.
If you have further questions about the importance of getting your pet neutered, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss this service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert veterinary team in Penn Valley, CA today.