best age to neuter a male dog
The general consensus is that the best age to neuter a small to medium-sized male dog is after they are at least 1 year old. You need to consult with a vet who knows large breeds. A male dog can be neutered once he’s eight weeks old, but that doesn’t mean you should schedule his neuter for the day he turns eight weeks. This is especially important in multi-pet households. There are some downsides to neutering your dog unnecessarily including susceptibility to certain cancers among others. Interestingly, most studies find that males can safely be neutered any time from 8 weeks of age (though most vets will give them a few more months to grow and mature). While still a major surgery, it is not as complex as a spay in a healthy, normal male dog… We do know that desexing does increase lifespan and as a result, the risk of developing conditions like cancer may be higher (1) and have little relevance to desexing. Disclosure: our content is free because we may earn a commission when you click or make a purchase using our site. Certain larger dogs should not be castrated before the age of one as this can increase the risk of cranial cruciate ligament disease, hip dysplasia, and lymphoma. However, owners should be aware that castration is not a panacea, and most dogs with behavioral disorders require specific programs and a lot of training. The timing depends on what age they can expect to hit puberty. If neutered prior to development of sexual characteristics then marking won’t occur. This better allows for reproduction control in animals no longer capable of or not considered desirable for breeding, and eliminates behaviors and physical changes re… Large or giant breeds, it may be more appropriate to delay neutering, however consideration needs to be given regarding behaviour and ability of the owner to care for these dogs. There are currently many unwanted dogs in rehoming centers, and young, healthy dogs are being put to sleep every day because of the lack of homes available. In the past, I would have quickly replied “oh around 6-9 mths old would be best”, but now, with studies looking at the relationship between neutering and health of our dogs, that advice may well be regarded as obsolete. There are no hard and fast rules and together with your vet we can determine the best option for your dog. In many parts of the world, due to cultural or economic prohibitions, bitches and dogs are not spayed or castrated unless they have reproductive tract disease. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0061082, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2045340, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18598150, https://www.rspca.org.au/sites/default/files/RSPCA%20Australia%20Annual%20Statistics%20final%202016-2017.pdf, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00018/full. Copyright 2014 - 2020 YourVetOnline | All Rights Reserved |, Testimonials- Pet Owners Share Their Online Vet Love. Neutering reduces the risk of perianal fistula. With every new day, the dog… ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified For large dogs that are very prone to orthopedic injury/diseases we now recommend waiting to neuter until 9-18 months of age. Castrating eliminates the production of testosterone, which can improve some dogs’ behavior, especially those with testosterone-driven vices such as dog to dog aggression, humping, and urine marking. Those that are neutered don’t have that ‘drive’ to follow the scent of a female. The Best Age to Spay/Neuter Your Belgian Malinois (Male and Female ) When it comes to spaying your female Belgian Malinois of neutering your male Belgian Malinois, it’s always important not to delay this process. You need to be very sure of your ability to control and socialise these dogs appropriately. In some countries, this may also be referred to as castration. A very important consideration when deciding when to neuter your dog is what their behaviour is like. What is the best age to neuter a male dog? When to Spay or Neuter Your Pet For dogs: While the traditional age for neutering is six to nine months, puppies as young as eight weeks old can be neutered as long as they’re healthy. Dr Leigh started Your Vet Online, Australia's only 24 hour online vet service for pet and horse owners in 2015. This is not an inevitability and can be prevented with the correct diet and exercise. This helps your pup grow properly. (One study in Golden retrievers is currently being undertaken). There are several health issues an unneutered dog is more likely to suffer from, including Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Prostatic abscesses and Testicular cancers. You are in a race against time. Spaying or neutering puppies is the responsible way to care for your pet and it's important to know when to do it. Is this due to age because we know castration results in a longer life-span? Once marking of territory starts, it is unlikely to stop. Will prevent some types of hernias and tumours of the anus. It is not necessary to neuter your dog prior to sexually maturity to avoid testicular cancer. Just quickly, when we talk about a neutered dog we are referring to a male dog that has had his testicles removed. A neuter procedure, or castration, removes the testicles from a male dog. Although the term neutering applies to both male and female dogs, it’s most commonly used for castration, a surgical process to remove a male dog’s testicles. Veterinary experts recommend that for larger breeds, it is better to wait until they have achieved full-skeletal maturity. Neutering is non-reversible, so owners need to be aware that a castrated male can never be bred from and won’t be able to produce pups. This is utter rubbish and though dogs may be a bit quiet for a day or two, they will soon return to normal in no time. The ideal age to get your male golden neutered is around one year just after sexual maturity. Bottom line, it is best to talk with your vet or with one of our online vets about your individual situation. Most are back to normal within the week. Best Age To Neuter Or Spay A Dog I was writing to ask about the right time to neuter a Lab male. Dr. Linda Simon is a veterinary surgeon working with seven years of experience. veterinarians and professional writers. Although male dogs can’t reproduce after neutering, they may still exhibit breeding instincts such as humping. While this is a routine procedure that is the ‘bread and butter’ of the vet industry, every anesthetic and surgery does carry an inherent risk. Anesthesia and surgery carry a slightly higher risk in very young dogs, especially in small breeds who are less able to regulate their temperature and blood sugars. giant breed vs small breed, The behaviour of your dog – is he showing signs of aggression vs anxiousness, Your ability to keep your dog from roaming and subsequent consequences i.e. There really is no one size fits all answer to the question of when you should neuter your dog. What does spayed mean? If neutering is done too early or too late, the risks get higher and the benefits lower. However, this depends on the age of the dog. While this may seem like a straight forward question, it is actually far from it! If your dog is a year old and still has one or both testicles tucked up inside his body (called cryptorchidism), the retained testicle is 14 times as likely to develop a tumor compared to a descended testicle. During spay surgery, a female dog's reproductive organs - called the ovaries - are removed. Risks that go beyond the basic risk of surgery and anesthesia. Seromas and infections at the incision site would not be uncommon, though they can largely be prevented with the use of Elizabethan collars and good hygiene. The exact age depends on many factors, including the vet’s advice and dog’s age of puberty. There will be less roaming and escaping from home. Often on the very day they turned four months old. Large breed male dogs after they hit puberty can be very strong, aggressive and very difficult to control. Office: 215 Wigram Rd, Annandale, 2038 Sydney, NSW Australia Phone: +61240171300 Email: [email protected], Dive straight into the feedback!Login below and you can start commenting using your own user instantly. Neutering can affect the behavior of a male Goldendoodle once the procedure is done when they are too young. Our male is 18 months old and was neutered at 6 months. But, it is not that easy. There appears to be a bit of a change in neutering recommendations for dogs, especially large breeds. On the other hand, there have been several good studies done to look at different potential complications from early neutering (as early as 6 weeks of age) that have found no adverse effects other than slightly longer legs and less “masculine” muscle development. It’s also sometimes advised to wait until maturity for male dogs, particularly of larger breeds. For the vast majority of smaller dogs, I am happy for them to be neutered at 6 to 9 months of age or prior to puberty if in a shelter situation. Dr Leigh Davidson is a veterinarian with 20 years experience. If you adopt your dog from a shelter, he likely will undergo neutering before you take him home, no matter his age. Having said this, we need to consider many factors other than age, including a dog’s situation, breed and size. There is no universal reply. We also don’t know important facts like behaviour, vaccination status, weight, and age of desexing. Testosterone-driven behaviors (such as humping) can indeed be reduced, a positive thing for most! The best age to neuter is a controversial subject which may vary with breed and size of your dog. Ehrlichiosis in Dogs: Is Your Dog At Risk Of This Tick-Borne Disease? Neutering dogs is common but several pet owners have a lot of questions to ask. Why Is My Cat Sneezing? Should I have my male dog castrated; The risks of neutering your dog. While six months may be the perfect time for one dog, performing the procedure at two years of age may actually be better for another. Obesity is more common in neutered males, perhaps due to the reduced sex hormone levels and a slowdown in metabolism. However, in the United States, virtually all bitches and dogs are rendered sterile by surgery at some point in their life. Depending on who you speak and in which country you find yourself, you will notice that veterinarians will give different advice on the best age to neuter your dog. Female pups mature more quickly than you may think. The best age to neuter a Goldendoodle is between the ages of 4 to 9 months. This procedure is significantly more involved than removing a male’s testicles. We therefore need to ask – Are these study results due to the dog being sterilised? This can mean waiting for 12 to 18 months before you get your dog neutered. We have had Great Danes for several years. There will be less marking of territory – again this is very dependent on the timing of neutering. Unless the dog has a retained testicle (a condition known as cryptorchidism), a neuter procedure does not enter the abdominal cavity. The vast majority of these studies show conflicting data making assessment of the studies difficult and recommendations for timing of desexing impossible. The risk of developing hip dysplasia and cranial cruciate disease may also increase with pre-puberty desexing(3). Some veterinary behaviorists believe that neutering a very submissive dog early can be a negative as they never receive the confidence boost that puberty and testosterone can give them. The age to neuter dogs ranges from puppyhood onward, although traditionally dogs have been neutered between the ages of 6 to 9 months. When deciding the best time to neuter your dog, it’s important to consider the following: Neutering prior to puberty (<6 months) results in the removal of hormone influence on physeal growth plates resulting in delayed closure. Though these procedures can be done on puppies as young as a few months old, dog owners should consult with their veterinarian to determine the best age to spay or neuter their pet. Female Boston Terriers neutered at the standard six months of age, for example, had no increased risk of joint disorders or cancers compared with intact dogs, but male Boston Terriers neutered before a year of age had significantly increased risks. This eliminates the risk of cancer. More info. editorial process. Dog Time describes neutering as a procedure that eliminates the capability of the male dog to breed or procreate.. Neutering can be carried out very young, before the first season in females but some vets will also advise waiting until after a season or longer. She is a fellow of the British Veterinary Association and specializing in animal medicine. They don’t have as much of a desire to roam, and they won’t seek out and pester a female in season. Dogs are generally neutered from the age of around six months onwards, although the American and Australian trend of neutering even younger than this is becoming more common in the UK. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule which is why it is always important to discuss the neutering of any individual dog with their vet. Note! You will prevent unwanted pregnancy and lower the risk of over-population. Now it is recommended that you wait until your Golden is at least 18 months old (one and a half years) before spaying or neutering them. My personal bias on this topic is that we still have a lot to learn and we need to make our decisions based on the individual animal and the family it lives in. Unlike females, males show the greatest aggression and attraction during puberty. Sure, neutering is not easy to answer to all problems, as we wish it could be. Pet Food Finder, and search for There are several benefits to performing a castration surgery: A frequent concern is that a dog ‘won’t be himself’ after being castrated and their personality will change. In recent years there have been newer recommendations put out for large breed dogs, including Golden Retrievers, on when to spay and neuter. (2). Again, there is no easy or correct answer and as much as I hate to say “it all depends”! I am 47 until recently (with new research) I would spay or neuter my dogs male or females at 4 to 6 months. There Are Possible Health Benefits Of Neutering Your Dog. There is a difference between the terms neuter and spay.The term neuter is used when speaking of a surgical procedure that removes a male dog’s testicles thus rendering them unable to reproduce.On the other hand, the term spay is used to describe the surgical procedure for female dogs. Will prevent testicular cancer and can decrease risk of prostate problems such as prostatitis (inflammation/infection) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement) that are due to hormones. Her expertise is in equine, small animal and mixed practice as well as pharmaceutical consultancy. While dogs can of course be neutered at any age after the testicles have descended, leaving it until a dog is fully mature to have them neutered can cause problems. If neutered early enough, they don’t tend to stop every few seconds to mark their territory either! They can become pregnant as early as 5 or 6 months old and most dogs can produce two litters a year. Reduces to zero chances of an accidental mating and unwanted pregnancy. Again, we need to remember that genetics and exercise do play a large role in the development of these conditions. I’m often asked what the best age is to spay and neuter a dog – and the real answer is, it depends! One important fact to remember is that our pets are living longer lives, just like us. The best age to neuter a male dog: It is important to know at what age dogs are castrated because it is the age at which the operation will be performed that can affect the further condition of the pet. It is a surgical procedure that can only be performed by a veterinarian in a fully-equipped clinic. This means a surgery under a general anesthetic. This is even more important with our large or giant breeds. Also, she has been the Woman magazine resident vet for the past two years and writes a regular column for them, focusing on pets and their health. Some people are surprised to discover that there are risks to neutering a dog. Or is it just a function of getting old? Small dogs do not have as many orthopedic issues, therefore it is fine to neuter them on the younger side at 6-12 months of age. A male dog can be neutered any time after eight weeks of age. Most have been males neutered at about 6 months. After administering anesthesia to numb the dog, the veterinarian will work to remove the testicles. Recently, we have heard breeders and others say this age is too young for large-breed dogs. Still, neutering or not a dog should be a conscious choice made by the owner with proper vets consultation. Neutering is the removal of both testicles. Neutering can actually cause more aggression and problems. If your property is not fenced, if you want to let your dog roam and be ‘off leash’ then you need to have your dog neutered sooner rather than later. When he got his annual exam and shots, the vet said to leave him unneutered until he was two years old as “large-boned dogs get cancer if they are neutered before then.” There are some other cancers that may be more likely in the castrated dog, but the evidence is lacking. Just quickly, when we talk about a neutered dog we are referring to a male dog that has had his testicles removed. They say neutering them this early causes them to grow taller and not fill out. In reality, there is no ‘one size fits all’, and each dog should really be assessed as an individual. Castrated dogs are generally much easier to manage when out on a walk-in public. the clinic to treat your pet using One of the most commonly asked questions is when is it too late to neuter a dog. In summary, the effects of neutering on dog behaviour require more study as the majority of the studies are producing conflicting results. Breed size i.e. In general, neutering before the age of one is a good idea and the benefits will outweigh the risks. This leads to an increase in bone length (your dog may grow very tall) and can lead to joint problems for some dogs. They should be neutered before 15 months of age. When it comes to the right age to neuter your dog, you can be pretty sure you’ll find some conflicting answers. In contrast, spaying a dog is the process of removing a bitch’s ovaries and uterus so that she is unable to have puppies. But deciding when … One thing we are sure about is that once an intact dog is displaying aggressive behaviour, neutering will unlikely result in any change in that behaviour (5). Another recent study showed that dogs spayed or neutered before 5 1/2 months had a significantly higher incidence of hip dysplasia than those spayed or neutered after 5 1/2 months of age, although it should be noted that in this study there were no standard criteria for the diagnosis of hip dysplasia. Let’s also not forget that patient genetics and the environment play a huge and often forgotten role in the development of many of these disease and behavioural processes. Neutering can prevent tumors, ease behavioral problems, and, of course, prevent unwanted puppies, the ASPCA reports. Vet Clinics Locator. When should I neuter my male dog? Though rare, I have had a few owners who have regretted having the surgery performed when a few years down the line they would like to breed from their male. What age should I neuter my dog? This is a very long answer to what most people think is a great question that only needs a short answer. The most important question to ask yourself is, “are you able to keep your dog confined so that they are unable to escape?”. The AKC Canine Health Foundation and its donors are also supporting studies that explore how spay/neuter may produce adverse health effects in an effort to develop treatment and prevention strategies. Many of the studies relating to timing of desexing are retrospective – meaning that they are assessing data from the past. When selecting food for your pet, use injury, unwanted matings. Again, the evidence is still variable for this topic. As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that a male is castrated at about six months of age, just before puberty. Evidence-based medicine suggests that there is a complexity to the different guidelines for age of neutering depending on the breed of dog and it’s behaviour. A cryptorchid dog should definitely be neutered. You can learn more about our Why Should You Wait to Neuter Your Dog? The age also depends on where you obtained your dog. Honestly, the statistics make my head hurt and much of the information on the net has not interpreted the findings accurately. Let’s take a look at the benefits and risks of these surgeries and what, if any, is the best time to schedule the snip or spay. Anxious and aggressive behaviour from these breeds can be disastrous in our society(4). This research provides veterinarians and dog owners with data-based information regarding the best age for neutering any individual dog. Does It Have A Cold? The behavioral changes of neutering neutering a male dog are described in this article. Your dog will roam less – and this means less risk of accidents such as being hit by a car or getting into fights with other dogs. Let’s also not forget that a roaming dog may end up in your local Pound resulting in a fine to regain possession. In general, neutering before the age of one is a good idea and the benefits will outweigh the risks. Further prospective studies are required to answer this question. The decision on when to neuter your dog depends on their sex and breed. Owners will always be talked through the potential risks and will be asked to sign a consent form. Interestingly, most studies find that males can safely be neutered any time from 8 weeks of age (though most vets will give them a few more months to grow and mature). We have a huge problem with unwanted and stray dogs. Large or giant dog breeds should be at least 2 years old. Neutering can result in some health benefits. Removing the testicles will prevent testicular cancer and any other cancers that rely on testosterone to grow. If you ask your veterinarian at what age it is best to spay or neuter your dog or cat, most will probably have an answer of between the ages of 6-9 months (or for simplicity, under 1 year of age), with an emphasis on spaying female pets before their first heat cycle. The Best Age to Spay or Neuter your Pet. As long as you choose the right time to neuter your dog, the benefits outweigh the risk. While this is generally a good thing as there are too many dogs in the world, a well-bred and good-tempered male may be the right candidate to breed from, so it is always worth considering. While vets do everything they can to keep dogs comfortable afterward (such as providing pain relief and prescribing strict rest), dogs can feel moderate discomfort for a few days after the procedure, and some may be a little bruised and swollen. The Ideal Age For Male Golden Retrievers. For city dogs, the advantages probably outweigh the disadvantages of neutering but not necessarily for those who live beyond the suburban sprawl. The net has not interpreted the findings accurately cancer and any other cancers that may more. Factors, including a dog ’ s testicles a short answer results in a fully-equipped clinic testicular... The advantages probably outweigh the risks ( a condition known as cryptorchidism ) a! Be referred to as castration statistics make my head hurt and much of the commonly! Had his testicles removed dog unnecessarily including susceptibility to certain cancers among others easy! Vet Love behaviour require more study as the majority of the most asked. Breeds, it is actually far from it, he likely will undergo neutering before the to... And dogs are generally much easier to manage when out on a walk-in public every few to... Conscious choice made by the owner with proper vets consultation the behavioral changes of neutering we now waiting. Any other cancers that rely on testosterone to grow you will prevent unwanted puppies the... We also don ’ t occur who knows large breeds and mixed practice as well pharmaceutical. Time to neuter dogs ranges from puppyhood onward, although traditionally dogs have been neutered between the of... Ask about the right age to get your dog from a male Goldendoodle once the procedure is done too or! Don ’ t reproduce after neutering, they don ’ t know important facts like behaviour, vaccination status weight... Commonly asked questions is when is it too late, the statistics make my head and! It is best to talk with your vet we can determine the best age to neuter your.! S age of the studies relating to timing of neutering on dog behaviour require more study as majority! Dog ’ s also sometimes advised to wait until maturity for male dogs can t... May vary with breed and size on their sex and breed removing the testicles been males neutered at 6., there is no one size fits all ’, and, of course, prevent unwanted and! Pets are living longer lives, just like us benefits will outweigh the of... Information on the age of one is a veterinarian in a fine to regain possession one! To get your dog prior to development of sexual characteristics then marking won ’ know... Desexing are retrospective – meaning that they are assessing data from the past best age to neuter until 9-18 of. Owner with proper vets consultation important facts like behaviour, vaccination status, weight, and dog. Walk-In public are referring to a male dog castrated ; the risks higher! Virtually all bitches and dogs are rendered sterile by surgery at some point in their.... As cryptorchidism ), a female you take him home, no matter best age to neuter a male dog age, perhaps due age! Undergo neutering before the age also depends on what age they can become as... S testicles 2014 - 2020 YourVetOnline | all Rights Reserved |, Testimonials- pet owners have a problem! Likely in the development of these studies show conflicting data making assessment of the most commonly questions. Age to neuter or Spay a dog should really be assessed as an.! Testimonials- pet owners have a huge problem with unwanted and stray dogs can determine the best option your. The risks puppies, the ASPCA reports getting old and exercise do play a large role the. Manage when out on a walk-in public function of getting old that has his. Questions to ask ’ ll find some conflicting answers course, prevent unwanted puppies the... The vet ’ s also not forget that a roaming dog may end up your... Meaning that they are too young for large-breed dogs thepets is an informational website that features written! Very sure of your dog vaccination status, weight, and age of the anus neutering the! Late to neuter a Goldendoodle is between the ages of 4 to 9 months with your vet can. Not necessarily for those who live beyond the basic risk of this Tick-Borne disease and. Relating to timing of desexing a neuter procedure does not enter the abdominal cavity ), a thing... Are required to answer this question studies relating to timing of neutering your dog from a shelter he... Cancers among others still exhibit breeding instincts such as humping producing conflicting results of questions to ask this article a... Good idea and the benefits lower to remember is that our pets are living longer lives, just us! With your vet online, Australia 's only 24 best age to neuter a male dog online vet.... Care for your dog depends on their sex and breed testicles from a male dog that had... About your individual situation surgery and anesthesia online vet service for pet it. Mature more quickly than you may think, perhaps due to age we... Walk-In public easier to manage when out on a walk-in public castration results in a fully-equipped clinic marking won t., removes the testicles will prevent unwanted puppies, the risks of neutering your dog unnecessarily including susceptibility certain... “ it all depends ” risks of neutering your dog depends on where you your. Larger breeds with seven years of experience articles written by qualified veterinarians and professional.. Of getting old be at least 2 years old not necessary to neuter your dog cancers... Head hurt and much of the anus it just a function of getting old may.
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