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What is the best age to castrate a dog?

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Do you want to castrate a dog? It is a highly recommended option, since in addition to nullifying the risk of having unwanted litters, castration too reduce the chances of your dog getting certain diseases and will help in case of excessive territoriality instinct. But when to castrate a dog? Is there an ideal time to do it? We tell you!

Castration and canine sterilization, is it the same?

Although both pursue the same goal, they are not the same. By castration and sterilization, the ability to conceive, that is, A neutered or spayed dog may not have puppies.

Apart of this, By sterilizing or neutering our pet we reduce the risk of suffering from serious diseases such as canine cancer. For example, when female dogs have had breast tumors, they are castrated so that they do not appear again. On the other hand, if we castrate an extremely aggressive dog or with a very strong territorial instinct, the situation is usually quite smooth. Castration improves the quality of life and stabilizes the temperament of our pets.

What is the difference between neutering and spaying? The main difference is that sterilization prevents reproduction but the dog retains the genitals, while the castration of the sexual organs is removed. That is, in the second case the possibility of having sexual intercourse is annulled, in the first case they can be practiced but there is no risk of fertilization.

When to castrate a dog

Experts recommend, both in males and females, that spay or neuter be carried out between 6 and 8 months old, when dogs have not yet reached their sexual maturity. This is because The sooner we do it, the lower the risk of diseaseIn addition, young dogs pass the post-operative process more easily.

Knowing when to castrate a dog is very important. Doing it at an early age has two main advantages:

  • In the case of females, if we sterilize before the first heat appears, the risk of breast cancer and infections in the uterus is reduced. In addition, you will never experience psychological pregnancies or males will try to ride it.
  • In the case of males, avoid testicular tumors, soothe the character and reduce fights with other males.

Minimum and maximum age to castrate a dog

Castrate a dog before 6 months of age is not recommended, since it could affect its growth and development. Sex hormones have a very important role in development and if we remove them they may not get to form the bones well. In addition, their character and personality could also be affected, since by that time they are not yet fully defined.

On the other hand, if we wait too long, it may not be advisable either. The longer we wait to sterilize a dog, the older it gets, the slower and harder the recovery will be. Also, of course, you will expose yourself to the risk of having unexpected litters or your dog getting sick. Usually, for safety, dogs are not usually operated for more than 6 or 7 years.

You know when to castrate a dog. But nevertheless, each case is different and our article is indicative. If you have a dog and want to sterilize it, Ask your veterinarian to know when to castrate your dog exactly. It will give you all the information you need and look for the most appropriate time.

The breed and the best age to castrate a dog

Since it is going to refer to the castration before the first heat, we will try to limit that time interval, although as it is advanced, the race influences a lot.

At 6 months of age, in a very general way and without even entering races, there are still no worries in dogs, since before ovulation there are always "attempts" that are becoming more intense in the case of females, until ovulation is triggered, when one of those attempts is successful.

In males it is somewhat more complicated to define it because there is no zeal (we do not "see" when they produce viable sperm), but the expression of sexual maturity is used, when it begins to be fertile. We deduce it for secondary behaviors such as marking territory with urine, lifting the leg to urinate, riding females. We could agree that 6-9 months is a reasonable age for not even encountering "puberty" in dogs.

How does the breed influence the ideal age to castrate a dog?

Although all are of the same species, there is a lot of difference between a Chihuahua, for example, and a Neapolitan mastiff. To continue with the comparison, if we have two females of those races, the first one will enter, as a general rule, much earlier in heat than the second. Everything is more accelerated the smaller the size of the race: the heart rate, the respiratory rate, the metabolism, the digestion. and the beginning of reproductive life.

So that, Smaller breeds tend to be earlier when it comes to reaching sexual maturity. However, many other things influence besides the breed, such as the environment, genetics, food, presence of nearby stimuli such as a male dog, etc.

We can find Yorkshire female dogs with their first zeal at 5 months, and doggies of Bordeaux bulldog in which it does not appear until they reach the age of one year, being much more complicated to be turned upside down. That is why it is difficult to talk about the months in which the dog's zeal will be presented, or fertility if it is male dogs, since each breed is a world (there are even bitches that only have an annual zeal, and it is normal ) and each dog in particular, a continent. In the mestizos, predicting the age at which the zeal will appear becomes an almost impossible mission.

The best age to castrate a bitch

To address it briefly, we will list the advantages and disadvantages of castrating our dog before the first heat, and so we can compare them with those of doing it after several jealousy:

  • The risks of sufferingbreast tumors in bitches, directly related to the sex hormones produced by the ovaries, reduced drastically. Castrated female dogs before first heat have a virtually zero incidence of breast tumors in the future, only a percentage reserved for genetic possibilities. However, those that are castrated after several jealousies should continue to be periodically checked for future tumors. Breasts have already suffered the action of hormones.
  • The risks of sufferingpyrometers (uterine infections), are completely canceled, when the ovaries disappear, responsible for cyclic stimulation of the uterus, and the uterus itself if the surgery is an ovariohysterectomy.
  • The thickness and vascularization (blood supply) to the reproductive organs before the first heat is much lower than once it begins to function. The tissues are not infiltrated with fat, and the ligatures of the surgery are much safer.
  • There are usually no obesity problems in such young dogs. The presence of excess abdominal fat makes the intervention very difficult.
  • Growth does not stop, contrary to what many people believe, it just gets slower, sustained over time, so that our dog will reach her final adult size a little later than the dogs that are not neutered could do.
  • We avoid our dog going through unwanted gestations, or pseudo-gestations (psychological pregnancies) and pseudolactations, which can affect all female dogs two months after the heat, even from the first.

Drawbacks

Possible appearance of urinary incontinence: Estrogens appear to be responsible for the proper functioning of the muscles in the bladder of the urine and the urethral sphincter. When the ovaries disappear with surgery, there will be no estrogen and, therefore, urinary incontinence may appear within a few weeks or months. They are slight losses of urine that occur while our dog is sleeping, or when exercising.

And if I let him have several jealousy, won't he suffer urinary incontinence?

Letting one or two jealousy pass to operate it, thinking that you will not suffer urinary incontinence after surgery, is a mistake. Urinary incontinence appears equally in middle-aged female dogs castrated at 4 years, for example, than in the rest of the age range. And it also affects a low percentage of castrated females.

Although they are not punished, with the passing of the years, the levels of hormones in the blood drop considerably (the bitches are less fertile), and with this drop in estrogen, urinary incontinence can also appear, similar to what happens in humans .

And if it appears, is there any treatment?

There are several drugs that can solve the problem of urinary incontinence, from small amounts of hormones, to medications (phenylpropanolamine), which act at the level of innervation of the bladder muscles, and which has proven effective only in castrated females for treat incontinence

The best age to castrate a male dog

Here we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of neutering our dog before reaching sexual maturity:

  • We will avoid getaways when smelling females in heat, since it happens frequently in dogs of few months, that still do not obey too much, and on top they have the revolutionized hormones.
  • Us we will save the marking pattern that a dog begins to perform systematically, regardless of the place, when it reaches sexual maturity, the days without eating when they detect a dog in heat in the neighborhood, and the anxiety and / or aggressiveness that may appear in that circumstance.
  • You won't have the constant need to get into trouble at park meetings with other dogs, its territoriality decreases or it does not get to develop and the desire to seek a fight, too, although its character remains the same.
  • The prostate will not suffer the influence of testosterone, which will not suffer the hyperplasia that virtually all male dogs are at 3-4 years of age.
  • The weight gain that we all associate with castration in dogs is less marked or goes unnoticed when the operation is done before 12 months of life.
  • Does not acquire riding behavior, and that is important. Dogs that have learned by observing other males, or because they have been allowed to ride females, can continue with that behavior even when castrated. When having a bone in the penis, dogs do not need hormones to achieve a copulation. If they have acquired the habit, they can ride a female after castrates although, obviously, there will be no gestation. It is a shorter ride, but the risk of becoming infected with herpesvirus or suffering the wrath of other males or owners, will remain there.

And if I let him have several jealousy, won't he suffer urinary incontinence?

Letting one or two jealousy pass to operate it, thinking that you will not suffer urinary incontinence after surgery, is a mistake. Urinary incontinence appears equally in middle-aged female dogs castrated at 4 years, for example, than in the rest of the age range. And it also affects a low percentage of castrated females.

Although they are not punished, with the passing of the years, the levels of hormones in the blood drop considerably (the bitches are less fertile), and with this drop in estrogen, urinary incontinence can also appear, similar to what happens in humans .

And if it appears, is there any treatment?

There are several drugs that can solve the problem of urinary incontinence, from small amounts of hormones, to medications (phenylpropanolamine), which act at the level of innervation of the bladder muscles, and which has proven effective only in castrated females for treat incontinence

The best age to castrate a male dog

Here we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of neutering our dog before reaching sexual maturity:

  • We will avoid getaways when smelling females in heat, since it happens frequently in dogs of few months, that still do not obey too much, and on top they have the revolutionized hormones.
  • Us we will save the marking pattern that a dog begins to perform systematically, regardless of the place, when it reaches sexual maturity, the days without eating when they detect a dog in heat in the neighborhood, and the anxiety and / or aggressiveness that may appear in that circumstance.
  • You won't have the constant need to get into trouble at park meetings with other dogs, its territoriality decreases or it does not get to develop and the desire to seek a fight, too, although its character remains the same.
  • The prostate will not suffer the influence of testosterone, which will not suffer the hyperplasia that virtually all male dogs are at 3-4 years of age.
  • The weight gain that we all associate with castration in dogs is less marked or goes unnoticed when the operation is done before 12 months of life.
  • Does not acquire riding behavior, and that is important. Dogs that have learned by observing other males, or because they have been allowed to ride females, can continue with that behavior even when castrated. When having a bone in the penis, dogs do not need hormones to achieve a copulation. If they have acquired the habit, they can ride a female after castrates although, obviously, there will be no gestation. It is a shorter ride, but the risk of becoming infected with herpesvirus or suffering the wrath of other males or owners, will remain there.

Drawbacks

Virtually none. Many people believe that their dog will not reach the size it could have as an adult if it had not been neutered at 8 months of age, for example. But if there is no genetic basis, no hormonal stimulation can get a dog to measure or weigh what we expected. Muscle development is favored by testosterone, but genetics, combined with adequate food and physical exercise, results in sizes almost equal to those of castrated males at 3 years, to put a figure.

And the character.

Sometimes, after overcoming fears of surgery, since there can always be complications in anesthesia, or the process, as in everything, even if they are minimal, and after having taken stock of the advantages and disadvantages, someone tells us that our dog will be left with a childish behavior, or that his character will change and will no longer be the same if he castrates before the first heat.

We can hear the same if we decide to castrate him when he is several years old, but in the first case, some argue that we will not let the dog develop well if it does not receive the influence of sex hormones. Given this we must bear in mind that the character is defined by genetics, socialization, time spent with his mother and brothers, environment, habits. and that receiving waves of estrogen or testosterone in your life will not make our dog a more balanced or more or less grumpy animal. Hormones can influence, but not determine. We advise you to visit the article of Animal Expert in which the ideal age to separate puppies from their mother is addressed to understand how important this topic is.

We hope that the doubts about the best age to castrate a dog have been clarified, and as we always do, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian each particular case, because we can not always apply generalizations to our dog or dog, despite that they work in the rest of congeners. On the other hand, if you finally decide to castrate your dog, do not miss our advice on the best care for freshly sterilized dogs.

This article is purely informative, at ExpertAnimal.com we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is the best age to castrate a dog?, we recommend that you enter our Prevention section.

Advantages of neutering a dog

Why castrate my dog? Unless you have a quality breed dog (good character, balanced, without inherited diseases, with good morphology) that you want to use in a responsible breeding program, the best option is spay or neuter your dog.

This offers many advantages. The first and most important is that you will avoid havingunwanted litters, and the consequent problem of having to place the puppies, which often end up dead or abandoned, or they go on to saturate the shelters and shelters even more. This motive is the crux of the matter, castrate a dog fundamentally helps avoid "carelessness during the heat ”, and the consequent canine overpopulation and social scourge of abandonment of dogs and cats.

But there are also more advantages. Others Benefits of sterilizing a dog are:

  • Considerable decrease the possibility of developing infections or tumors in your genitals and prostate.
  • The castrated male dogs, upon becoming elderly usually they do not pee on. Among the males not castrated, they are more likely to urinate on the elderly, due to prostate problems
  • After sterilization, the marking of the territory with urine decreases. The dog urinates less often on walks because he does not feel so much desire to mark his territory.
  • He sexual instinct of dogs decreases with sterilization, so there is a less tendency to escape in search of females in heat (or males, as the case may be). This way your dog is less likely to get lost from this cause.
  • Reduction of aggressiveness, especially before other dogs, since testosterone greatly influences the aggressiveness of males.
  • Normally increases sociability with other males, not seeing them as sexual competitors.
  • The urge to ride other dogs or people is reduced.
  • The decrease in their aggressiveness and the stress related to the competition for females will be noticeable in their long-term health and it is very possible that they increase their life expectancy.

However, it should be borne in mind that sterilization does not affect the same character Of all the dogs. That is, although in general, a castrated male will be less aggressive with other malesThere may be cases in which this aggressiveness does not diminish after sterilization.

Disadvantages of neutering a dog

Although minors, in relation to their benefits, it is important to know that there are also risks and disadvantages of sterilizing a dog. The risks of neutering a dog more frequent are:

  • Some neutered dogs have a higher risk of hypothyroidism,
  • castrating a dog can increase appetite,
  • if castration occurs before 5 months, in some cases the risk of developing sarcoma cancer may increase.
  • castrated males are sometimes sexually appealing to other males, who try to ride them.

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