Having your dog or cat spayed is beneficial for her overall health. It also helps reduce the population of unwanted animals in your community. Here is what you need to know concerning the age your dog or cat should be spayed.

Sex Hormones and Animal Health

As more information becomes available, people discover the relationship between animal health and sex hormones. Research has shown that failing to spay or neuter dogs or cats can increase the animal’s risk of developing certain conditions.

Certain conditions may affect the reproductive system, with the risk varying depending on the age or breed of the animal. Different-sized dogs reach maturation at different ages.

The Right Age to Spay Your Pet

The recommended age to spay dogs and cats has changed drastically over the last few decades. In the past, the recommended age was after the animal had the first heat cycle.

Opinions have changed, and experts recommend spaying before the animal reaches sexual maturity. The age of sexual maturity differs among animals, which has led to more people advocating for early spaying.

Benefits of Spaying Young Pets

There are benefits of spaying cats before they reach five or six months. These include:

  • Eliminating emergencies related to the reproductive system.
  • Preventing unintended pregnancies.
  • Reducing the risk of mammary carcinoma.
  • Increased longevity or life expectancy.
  • Potentially reducing behavioral issues associated with sex hormones or the heat cycle.

Case-by-Case Assessment

The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends making judgments on when to spay on a case-by-case basis. It means evaluating each patient individually, considering the benefits and potential risks of spaying. The best age to spay your dog or cat will depend on different factors.

Instead of simply spaying your pet at six months, the vet will determine the breed and potential future health concerns. When deciding, you need to determine what is best for your dog or cat.

Concerns About Early Spaying

Many pet owners are concerned about spaying younger animals due to fear of anesthetic or surgical complications. Studies have shown no increased risk of adverse health complications after spaying juvenile dogs or cats. Many veterinarians are safely spaying cats younger than five months. Most agree that the procedures are easier and faster in younger animals than in older ones.

Experts agree that the best time to spay your pet is before she reaches five months for cats and six months for dogs. Large breed dogs can be spayed within the five to 15-month window, depending on the dog’s lifestyle and disease risk. Your veterinarian will recommend the best age for your pet.

For more about the age at which your dog or cat should be spayed, visit 4 Paws Veterinary Hospital at our Duffield, Virginia office. Call (276) 431-4838 to schedule an appointment today.

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