Spaying a Dog - Should You Do It?

Spaying a Dog - Should You Do It?

Author WDF Staff


Spaying and neutering a dog has become a synonym for responsible dog ownership. The main idea behind it is to prevent unplanned pregnancies and to reduce the number of abandoned dogs. Spaying refers to female dogs, and neutering refers to males.

There is nothing male dogs won’t do to mate. If they smell a female in heat, they will jump fences or dig under them; run through traffic, run away from home, and burst through doors for a female in heat. Spaying a female dog will make these issues go away. However, the truth behind neutering and spaying is a bit more complicated. There are different things to think about before you decide you want to spay your dog. Here is what you should know about spaying your dog.

Is dog spaying a good thing?

As you could imagine, dog spaying has its advantages and disadvantages. The full impact of spaying on a dog’s health is still being studied, and there were significant improvements in those fields. Before you decide to spay your dog, let’s check both sides of the equation.


One of the most significant advantages of spaying your female dog is that she won’t have puppies. If you are not planning on careful breeding and have a clear idea of what you could to improve the breed, you shouldn’t breed your female dog. Breeding is a careful process that shouldn’t be done carelessly.

girl and dog

Dog breeders carefully study pedigrees and gene tests to find the best possible matches for their dogs. The only positive thing about not having puppies is - your dog will not be contributing to overpopulation. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of puppies are put to sleep in shelters around the world. Most of them come from unplanned pregnancies.

Some other health benefits your dog will get from spaying are;

  • Reduced risk of specific diseases like a mammary gland or uterine cancer and pyometra.
  • You won’t have to choose between buying dog sanitary “diapers” or a clean home.
  • You won’t have to leave your dog outside while she is in heat. Plus, persistent male dogs don’t consider a fence that big of an obstacle when they smell females in heat.
  • Females in heat have a specific odor. Some owners become “immune” to it when their dog is in question, but you can definitely smell it.

Behavioral benefits

Health benefits are not the only benefits your dog will get. There are some behavioral benefits your dog will gain from spaying. Some vets and owners reported spayed female dogs are less likely to roam. The aggression levels are also a lot lower.

Before we go into the disadvantages of spaying a dog, we need to understand at what part of their life female dogs should be spayed.

When should a dog be spayed?

This is somewhat of a debatable topic. Some say the best time to spay a female dog is after she hit puberty. Some argue that there are no risks in spaying as early as 5-months. However, recent studies are suggesting it is better to wait after the dog fully develops.

dogue de bordeaux puppy


Unfortunately, there are some things to consider before spaying your dog. At the moment, the global consensus is that spaying or neutering will prolong the dog’s life. However, there are some health conditions spayed dogs will be prone to. These health concerns include;

  • Slower metabolism - Slow metabolism can lead to potential health problems like obesity. Although, control the dog’s calories and the amount of physical activity they get each day will significantly improve their overall wellbeing.
  • Urinary incontinence - This is an issue that will primarily affect adult and senior female dogs.
  • Noise phobia - There was a correlation between spayed dogs and noise phobia. A specific amount of dogs develops this issue, and some can never be trained out of it.
  • Risk of cruciate ligament tear - This is connected with large dog breeds like the Great Dane or Bernese Mountain Dogs. If they are spayed before they fully develop, there is an increased risk of cruciate ligament tear.

How risky is the procedure?

Spaying is considered major surgery. It will require general anesthesia, and whenever general anesthesia is involved, there are certain risks. The worst-case scenario is death. However, with the development of modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment, the risks have been significantly lowered. A popular expression among dog owners says that dogs are more likely to get hurt in a car accident than have anesthetic complications.

Should I spay my dog?

Spaying your dog is generally recommended, especially in two cases - if you are not planning on breeding your dog or if it is believed to help deal with a health problem (like canine diabetes).

You should talk to your vet and make sure you made the best possible decision for your dog. Make sure you talked to them about all potential risks and concerns you might have. Keep in mind that large dog breeds should be spayed later than smaller dog breeds. More and more evidence supports that theory, and you should make sure your vet is informed about your worries.

World Dog Finder team

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