At Boulder Veterinary Hospital, our veterinarians recommend spaying and neutering pets around the age of six months, but this can vary based on their breed and other factors. Altering your pet at an early age can potentially help them avoid a number of health and behavioral issues. Our veterinary team recommends spay and neuter procedures to help your pet live a longer, happier, and healthier life.
Female dogs and cats can begin their first heat cycle as early as six to seven months of age. While dogs and cats only have a heat cycle about two to four times yearly, the process can be extremely uncomfortable for them, and they will require extra care and attention. During a heat cycle, females will likely attract attention from male dogs and cats in the area. By spaying your pet early on, you can help to keep them comfortable and prevent them from unwanted interactions with other dogs and cats.
It is possible for male dogs and cats to develop aggressive behaviors during their puppy or kitten stage. These behaviors become difficult to prevent at an older age. Destructive territorial behaviors, such as spraying, mounting, and roaming, can be prevented if a neuter procedure is performed at a young age due to the effect on their hormones.
There are approximately 6.5 million dogs and cats housed in shelters, without a safe and loving home, not including strays. On an annual basis, about 1.5 million of these sheltered animals are euthanized. By taking action to spay and neuter your pets, you are actively helping to prevent the overpopulation issue in animal shelters.
Studies have shown pets that have undergone a spay or neuter procedure tend to live longer than those that have not. There are a number of factors contributing to this statistic. It is important to note, however, that altering your pet can actually reduce the risk of certain cancers and diseases. Un-spayed female dogs and cats are susceptible to developing pyometra (a fatal uterine infection) and mammary cancer. Because of the nature of the disease, pyometra cannot occur in spayed females, and mammary cancer is significantly less likely to occur in spayed pets. The risk for males to develop testicular cancer is eliminated if they are neutered, and the risk of prostate cancer is significantly reduced.
Boulder Veterinary Hospital is dedicated to optimizing your pet’s health, which is why we encourage all pet parents to spay and neuter their pets. Our facility is fully equipped to provide the best care for a swift spay/neuter procedure and easy recovery. Your veterinarian will perform a full physical exam prior to the procedure and develop a customized anesthetic plan for your pet. They will explain the procedure to you, answer all your questions, and monitor your pet before, during, and after the surgery. Your pet will be discharged with appropriate post-operative care and we will give you the information you need to ensure a quick and comfortable recovery.