When You Should Neuter Your Dog
This is an important question to consider because issues can form if this procedure is done too soon or too late. The recommended age to neuter a male dog is between six and nine months. However, some pet owners have this procedure done at four months. Smaller dogs reach puberty sooner and can often have the procedure done sooner. Larger breeds may need to wait longer in order to properly develop before being neutered. Consult our team to find out when the time is right for your dog.
Comprehensive Study Lays Out Guidelines for 35 Dog Breeds
A 10-year study lays out guidelines for pet owners and veterinarians for each of 35 dog breeds to assist in making a neutering decision. (Getty)
Some dog breeds have higher risk of developing certain cancers and joint disorders if neutered or spayed within their first year of life. Until now, studies had only assessed that risk in a few breeds. A new, 10-year study by researchers at the University of California, Davis, examined 35 dog breeds and found vulnerability from neutering varies greatly depending on the breed. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
“There is a huge disparity among different breeds,” said lead author Benjamin Hart, distinguished professor emeritus at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Hart said there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to health risks and the age at which a dog is neutered. “Some breeds developed problems, others didn’t. Some may have developed joint disorders but not cancer or the other way around.”
Researchers analyzed 15 years of data from thousands of dogs examined each year at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital to try to understand whether neutering, the age of neutering, or differences in sex when neutered affect certain cancers and joint disorders across breeds. The joint disorders examined include hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament tears and elbow dysplasia. Cancers examined include lymphoma; hemangiosarcoma, or cancer of the blood vessel walls; mast cell tumors; and osteosarcoma, or bone cancer.
In most breeds examined, the risk of developing problems was not affected by age of neutering.
By spaying or neutering your pet, you’ll help control the pet homelessness crisis. Millions of healthy dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States each year simply because there aren’t enough homes to go around. There are also medical and behavioral benefits to spaying (female pets) and neutering (male pets).