Puppy Basics: Spaying and Neutering
Puppy Basics: Spaying and Neutering

What is Dog Neutering and Why is it Important?

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Population control is as essential for pets as it is for humans. Overpopulation by unwanted kindle of kittens or puppies is difficult to manage by caregivers. Many newborn young kittens and puppies are either put up for adoption or sent to an animal shelter. Besides, reproduction can be a tedious journey for your furry friend. Hence, it is better to get them spayed and neutered at the right time. 

Spaying and neutering are medical procedures performed on dogs to stop their reproduction process. Dog neutering and spaying is one the essential medical procedures for providing care to your fur baby. There are many benefits of neutering and spaying your canine friend. To understand more about this helpful medical procedure, read the following.

What is the procedure for dog neutering and spaying?

A neutered or spayed dog cannot reproduce as their heat cycle is eliminated. Dog neutering is a medical procedure performed on male dogs while spaying is performed on female dogs. Veterinarian surgeons perform a surgical procedure to remove ovaries and uterus from female dogs. Besides population control, spaying also prevents uterine infections and breast cancer in female dogs. Whereas neutering is a similar procedure performed on male dogs. Neutered dogs undergo surgery for removing both testicles and associated structures. Male neutered dogs are generally believed to be more well-behaved and calmer. The surgery also stops their breeding acts such as humping and the urge to run away.

When are dogs neutered?

Getting your dog spayed and neutered is essential for their psychological and physical well-being and behavior. Yet, when to spay a dog and when to neuter a puppy is a common query amongst pet caregivers. Well, it is best to get your pooch neutered or spayed at the earliest. It is best to get your fur baby neutered or spayed before it develops breeding instincts. Undergoing the procedure between 4 and 6 months is suggested. Most breeds of dogs reach redevelopment maturity around 6 months of age, yet some breeds can easily be neutered or spayed until 9 months or even after they turn over a year old. Hence, your pooch’s breed and size decide how soon it needs to be spayed or neutered.

Reasons to get your dog neutered

There are numerous reasons to opt for spaying and neutering for pets. By undergoing spaying and neutering procedures, pets can achieve better physical and psychological health. Neutered and spayed dogs are known to have better hormonal balance as their reproductive organs are removed which helps in neutralizing their breeding instincts. Mentioned below are a few more reasons why you should get your pets neutered and spayed.

  • Spaying and neutering help in controlling the pet population and overcrowding at animal shelters.
  • Both procedures are known to improve your pet’s health and behavior.
  • Spaying also prevents potentially life-threatening illnesses like mammary cancer, pyometra, and other uterine infections.
  • Neutered dogs eliminate their risk of suffering from testicular cancer and prostatic cancer.
  • Spayed and neutered dogs are also believed to have better bone health.
  • Male dogs often tend to run away on reaching breeding maturity. Neutering helps prevent such breeding instincts. The procedure also helps in controlling their general aggression and behavior.

How to prepare your pet before getting them neutered or spayed?

It is necessary to take some preventive measures to build trust and assurance before getting your pooch neutered or spayed. The following are a few things you should do to prepare your canine friend before getting it neutered/ spayed.

  • Get an appointment with their vet for a complete physical checkup. This checkup will primarily give you an idea about your pet’s health and if they are ready to undergo surgery.
  • Crate train your pooch so that it does not feel uncomfortable when kept in a crate at the vet’s clinic or after surgery for recovery.
  • Keep the house puppy-proofed to ensure your pooch doesn’t harm itself post-surgery.
  • Restrict food and water intake the night before surgery. Please consult your vet to know the exact hours of fasting required for undergoing this surgery.
  • Stay calm to keep your pooch away from unwanted tension. Your pet’s mood often depends on your mood. Hence, it becomes curial for caregivers to stay calm and composed to ensure their canine friend is stress-free throughout the procedure.

How to ensure post-surgery recovery for neutered and spayed dogs?

Neutering or spaying can typically take anywhere between 20 to 90 minutes depending on the size, breed, and health of your pooch. As a pet parent, you need to ensure the best care and support for your fur baby to ensure its complete and stress-free recovery post-surgery. Puppies and dogs often take up to 10 to 14 days to recover after getting neutered or spayed. The following are a few things you should do to ensure your puppy recovers well after getting neutered or spayed.

  • Proper rest: Your pooch needs to relax and rest well to get back to its bubbly mood as soon as possible. Resting is especially required for healing the surgery scars. It is suggested to avoid letting them run or jump right after surgery. You should also puppy-proof your house to limit any potential mishaps to protect them post-surgery.
  • Distant from other animals: Puppies and dogs tend to fight for socializing. However, post-surgery recovery requires your fur baby to relax and recover. Mingling with other animals increases their chances of getting into minor accidents which can potentially increase their recovery time. Hence, it is best to limit your pet’s interaction with other animals until it has fully recovered.
  • Avoid bathing: Do not bathe your pooch for at least 10 days post-surgery. This is to prevent their wound from getting wet and infected. It is also necessary to change the wound’s dressing to keep it clean and hygienic post-surgery.
  • Check-ups: You need to keep a close tab on the pooch’s recovery. Arrange for a vet’s appointment for conducting regular checkups and dressing changes. You should also check for redness, swelling, discharge, odor, and uneasiness to prevent infections and allergies.
  • Stay alert: Make sure the pet eats well and is in stable condition once it is back home. Get in touch with your vet immediately if you notice the pooch vomiting, not eating well, or if it suffers from diarrhea. You should also look out for signs of lethargy and discomfort during the recovery period.

Managing the population is essential for strays as well as pets. When you get your pets neutered and spayed, you eliminate their chances of contributing to the overpopulation of dogs. Besides, spaying and neutering also help in managing your pooch’s aggression and urge to run away by controlling their hormones and making them calmer. Neutering and spaying also save your pooch from falling prey to infections and fatal illnesses like cancer. Hence, it is best to get your canine friend neutered or spayed at the earliest by consulting a vet.

Frequently asked questions

  1. When to spay a puppy?
  2. Female puppies can be spayed once they turn 6 months old. In general, it is best to spay your pooch before its first heat. However, you can choose to get it spayed even after they start experiencing heat cycles.

  3. Why is spaying or neutering your dog important?
  4. Spaying and neutering help in controlling the pet population as well as improving the pet’s overall behavior and health.

  5. What is the best age to neuter a male dog?
  6. It is best to neuter a male dog between the ages of 6 to 9 months. Caregivers should consult a vet to know the ideal age suitable for their fur baby’s size, breed, and health.

  7. Is spaying or neutering painful for dogs?
  8. Your pooch will feel no pain during the neutering/ spaying surgery as they are put under anesthesia. However, some pets may feel little discomfort during the post-surgery recovery period.

  9. Are there any side effects of spaying or neutering dogs?
  10. Minor anxiety, aggression, clinginess, and depression are a few short-term side effects of neutering and spaying. Please consult a vet at the earliest if these signs do not subside within 10 to 14 days after the surgery.

  • Choosing the Right Dog Food
    Choosing the Right Dog Food
    Choosing the Right Dog Food

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    Author: Dr. Diah Pawitri

    When visiting the store, dog owners can get overwhelmed by the array of dog food options available, from dry kibble to canned wet food and more. These processed foods may not be appealing to humans, but they contain all the nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy. Like humans, dogs also need a variety of nutrients from their food, not just from meat as their main diet, but also from grains, vegetables, and fruits. This kind of balance is usually weighed by pet food labels in kibbles or wet food in grams for different types of dogs. 

    For optimum health, dogs need food that is tailored and customized to their life stages, starting from when they are puppies and all the way into adulthood. Puppies have completely different nutrient needs compared to adult dogs as they are still in their early stages of life. They need enough nutrients to fuel a speedy growth, especially after transitioning away from their mother's milk. Puppies require complete and balanced nutrition with protein to help build their tissues, fats or healthy skin, hair, brain, and vision, carbohydrates for energy, vitamins, minerals, and water.

    The need for balanced nutrients in puppies starts with the mother during pregnancy, followed by lactation and growth. Sufficient nourishment for the mother is pivotal in enhancing the puppies’ growth inside the womb and preparing them for life after birth. Both mother and puppy should receive well-proportioned antioxidants, DHA, and prebiotics to support their health and growth as provided by the IAMS product line, which contains DHA that is essential for puppies' brain development while also supporting the mother's pregnancy and quality of milk produced. 

    While puppies need the primary nutrients for growth, adult dog food has a different level of complexity. Adult dog food requires the same make-up of nutrients as puppies do but tailored to their specific needs. Recent research indicates that an adult dog requires at least 10% of its daily calories from protein and at least 5.5% from fat. Adult dogs need quality protein for firm muscles and a healthy immune system. Additionally, an adult diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates, with fiber ranging from 2.5 to 4.5%. There is no specific prescribed amount of fibre for adult dog consumption daily, however, it is still one of the most important components in dog food to address constipation and support a healthy weight.

    Adult dogs in their prime also require a balance in antioxidants to reduce systemic inflammation and restore active muscles. They should receive Vitamin E and C to support their immune system, joint health, and prevent inflammation. As they grow older, they may be exposed to different diseases from diabetes to cancers, which can be prevented by polyphenols.  Parents to adult dogs must acknowledge the most suitable food for their loved one that is comprised of the right amount of nutrients and can look to the IAMS line as they are formulated to support healthy bones and joint health, scientifically proven for healthy digestion with a good fibre and prebiotic blend, as well as antioxidants for a strong immune system.

    Besides life stage, balanced nutrition should be adjusted to their breed, which give insight to different factors like weight, mouth size, and energy level. This will then determine the type of kibble and food given. Smaller breeds tend to be more active, requiring the same essential nutrients and prebiotics for a healthy body as well as smaller-sized kibble designed specifically for their smaller mouths. As smaller dogs relatively have a high metabolism, higher levels of protein, fat, and essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 are some of the important nutrients that should be available in their food. On the other hand, larger breeds require foods that are lower in fat and calories, contain slightly lower levels of calcium and phosphorus, and have a specific balance of calcium-to-phosphorus ratio to support stronger bones and muscles.  Owners can look to products like the small breed line from IAMS, containing 7 essential nutrients to build strong muscles, support their tiny immune system while protecting their healthy skin and coat, and the product line for adults for large breeds.

    Dog parents must acknowledge and understand the unique needs, life stage and characteristics in their dog to choose the right dog food so their furry ones can grow into their healthiest selves. Make sure to visit your vet regularly to check these components as well!