Dog Sterilization: Why and What Age to Sterilize Your Dog?

Sterilization of the female dog only offers benefits for her health and well-being. It is the same in male dog “castration”. But the generic term “sterilization” is most often used for male dogs as well.

At what age should you sterilize your dog? What are the techniques used by the veterinarian? Are there any contraindications, unavoidable side effects such as weight gain, or alternatives to sterilization?

Male and female dogs not intended for breeding will be able to spend their entire lives without giving birth at least once. You have to fight many received ideas and seriously consider the sterilization of your furry friend.

Dog Sterilization: Misconceptions

A dog, both male and female, which is not intended for reproduction doesn’t need to have puppies or mate at least once in its life.

Keep in mind that a litter requires a lot of attention, we must also think about the future of the puppies. Some breeds are very prolific and a litter can have up to 10 puppies, sometimes more!

Health Benefits of Dog Sterilization

Dog sterilization offers multiple benefits. In females, sterilization helps to avoid:

  • Heat periods, twice a year,
  • Unwanted litters,
  • Nervous lactations,
  • Breast tumors,
  • Uterine infections.

In male dogs, sterilization:

  •  Removes the risk of testicular tumors,
  • Avoids prostate problems.

Sterilization also influences dog behavior

Sterilization also offers behavioral benefits. It allows the dog to be more balanced. It helps avoid or even eliminate many classic and annoying behaviors, including:

Sterilization does not influence the aptitudes specific to the breed. Similarly, sterilization if practiced during growth will not change the size and weight of the dog in adulthood.

When Should I Sterilize My Dog?

You can carry out dog sterilization from 6 months. The ideal is before puberty, between:

  • 6 and 7 months in small dogs,
  • 10 and 12 months in large dogs.

How Sterilization is Done in Dogs

Sterilization is a surgical procedure that requires general anesthesia that veterinarians master well.

The dog is brought to the clinic on an empty stomach and can be picked up the same day. A painkiller administered by the veterinarian in prevention will prevent the dog from suffering after the intervention, if necessary.

Sterilization consists of ovariectomy in female dogs. That is, ablation of the ovaries. In male dogs, the veterinarian removes both testicles or performs a vasectomy. It ligates the channel allowing the passage of sperm to the penis.when should I sterilize my dog?

There are no contraindications to sterilization, apart from being overweight. In a female, for example, the absence of fat facilitates an oophorectomy.

If you have dog insurance, you can use your prevention budget in all its formulas to finance the sterilization of your furry friend.

The veterinarian will usually suggest a follow-up visit before the stitches are removed to ensure that healing is going well.

If the dog tries to lick his scar or tear off the threads, a collar may be indicated. There are now inflatable collars that make the convalescing dog more comfortable than with a straight jacket.

Alternatives to Dog Sterilization

There are alternative methods to sterilize your dog. One of them is now widely used by veterinarians and consists of temporary and reversible contraception, which does not require surgery or anesthesia.

It is an implant, allowing the reduction of testosterone (the sex hormone of the male dog) and thus offering the end of undesirable behaviors, like increased libido, which is linked to this hormone.

In any case, a discussion with your veterinarian is necessary and will allow you to find the solution best suited to you and your dog.

Weight gain following sterilization is not inevitable

The dog can actually gain weight following sterilization. To anticipate and avoid this problem, you can take several measures, including:

  • Change your dog’s diet and use a food suitable for sterilized dogs, on the recommendations of the veterinarian.
  • Exercise while respecting your dog’s nature.
  • Weigh your dog regularly to ensure that it is as close as possible to its healthy weight (ideal weight).

Obviously, neutering a dog should be seriously considered. It can only be beneficial for the dog, his health, and his well-being on a daily basis. You will also have everything to gain by not being subjected to many annoying behaviors. Finally, sterilization will also benefit the relationship and cohabitation you have with your dog.