While there are several important factors that should be considered prior to surgery, having a dog spayed or neutered has a multitude of advantages. In fact, most animal shelters will not even allow dogs to be adopted out unless the animals have been spayed or neutered. Prices for spaying and neutering procedures vary from one animal hospital to the next. Dog owners should shop around to find the lowest cost possible before spaying or neutering a dog.
Reasons to Neuter/Spay a Dog
Having a dog spayed or neutered reduces its chances of developing certain reproductive cancers. For females, spaying eliminates the heat cycle and helps to steady fluctuating hormone levels. Spaying tends to make hyperactive female canines much calmer. Having a male dog neutered, especially at a young age, should help eliminate the urge to mark territory. Fixing a male reduces the dog’s desire to fight as well. A fixed dog will also be less inclined to wander off. Pets that stay at home are less likely to get lost or to catch diseases from other dogs. Additionally, most dogs tend to be gentler and more tolerant after being spayed or neutered, and are better companions for children as a result thereof.
Spaying and Neutering Considerations
Dogs that have been fixed will not be able to reproduce. Pet owners that are hoping to breed a dog at some point in its life should take this into account prior to surgery. However, dogs that are used exclusively for the purpose of breeding do not tend to live as long as altered pets, and spaying or neutering may actually add years to a dog’s lifespan. There are very few side effects to spaying and neutering. Some dogs experience weight gain after being spayed or neutered. This is due to hormonal changes and reduced activity levels. Prolonged obesity can result in joint issues, particularly in elderly dogs. Adjusting the animal’s dietary and exercise habits may be necessary to help control weight and overall health.
The Cost Implications of Spaying or Neutering a Dog
The average cost to neuter a dog is between $45 and $150. Compared to neutering, spaying a female dog is a relatively complicated procedure. As a result, it usually costs around $50 to $200 to have a female dog fixed. The cost involved to neuter/spay a dog should cover surgery, anesthesia, painkillers, and hospitalization. It will cost more if the dog is pregnant, in heat, or overweight. A vet may choose to perform pre-surgery blood work, to ensure that the animal’s liver and kidneys are functioning properly. Any additional costs that may be incurred to neuter/spay a dog will be discussed with the pet owner before surgery. Painkillers prescribed for after the surgery may also be charged additionally.
Pre Surgery Care for Your Furry Friend
Qualified veterinarians will not spay or neuter a dog if the animal is not physically healthy enough to undergo the surgery. It is important that the dog be of a healthy weight prior to the procedure. Underweight dogs are at a higher risk of developing complications with the anesthesia during surgery and have a harder time during recovery. Additionally, dogs that are carrying around a few extra pounds may develop breathing problems during the procedure. It is also important to address any underlying medical problems, such as bacterial infections, prior to surgery. By keeping the dog healthy before surgery, pet owners are able to greatly reduce recovery time after the procedure has been performed.
Caring for a Dog After Surgery
Some vets may keep a dog overnight or for a few days after the surgery to watch for complications or infections. However, most dogs are allowed to go home the same day. Pet owners are encouraged to keep the dogs in a quiet room, cut off from loud areas of the house and away from children or other pets, until the animal’s stitches begin to heal and the animal displays typical behavior. The average recovery time for a spayed or neutered dog is between 2 and 4 weeks. Physical activity should be limited to prevent stitches from opening. An Elizabethan collar may be required for dogs that lick or bite at the surgical site. Provide the dog with plenty of fresh water and limited amounts of good food.
A fixed dog is able to enjoy a better quality of life than an unaltered canine. Pet owners should weigh the surgical considerations before committing to the procedure. However there are many benefits to having a dog spayed or neutered. Do not be afraid to call several animal hospitals to get a variety of estimates for spaying and neutering. Additionally, you can find out about local low-cost animal spaying and neutering clinics that may offer a better deal.