Benefits of Spaying Your Female Dog
Even though everyone loves a cute puppy, there are a lot of puppies who end up in shelters. Despite the excitement of a mother giving birth to a litter of puppies, doing so is harmful to her long-term health and ultimately contributes to pet over-population. There are many benefits to spaying and neutering your dogs. The act of giving birth to puppies can take a toll on your female dog’s behavior and mental/physical well-being.
Spaying your female dog has both medical and behavioral benefits for your beloved pet.
Medical Benefits of Spaying Your Female Dog:
- Helps prevent mammary (breast) cancer
- Prevents Pyometra bacteria from infecting a female dog’s uterus and causing a fatal infection
- Prevents ovarian and uterine tumors
- Prevents any injury, stress, and disease caused by giving birth to puppies
Behavioral Benefits of Spaying Your Female Dog:
Dogs become sexually mature between the ages of 6 and 12 months. During this time, female dogs produce a surge of the hormone estrogen and start the reproductive cycle, which leads to cycles of “heat” or estrus. When in heat, the female will be able to begin breeding with male dogs. Most female dogs will experience two heat cycles a year.
Having your dog spayed will not affect her personality, friendliness, playfulness, or working abilities. In fact, you might see a reduction in these behaviors after you spay your dog:
- Roaming – While in heat, female dogs will often try to leave the house in search of a male dog, which puts them at risk of getting lost, injured, or possibly even killed by a car. Spaying will help eliminate her need to roam outdoors. (If you do not want to spay her, you will need to keep her indoors or in an escape-proof yard where she is unable to get out).
- Frequent urination – Females in heat urinate often during their heat cycles to attract male dogs with the scent of their urine. Not only will this cause a line of male dogs waiting at your door but it can also lead to urination on your carpet or tile.
- Irritability – Each estrus cycle causes powerful hormonal changes in a female dog. Some dogs may become irritable or nervous and even feel pain due to ovulation, similar to how women may feel when on their own menstrual cycle. However, spayed dogs do not experience these hormonal changes.
- Aggression – Females might be less aggressive towards both dogs and people after they are spayed. Un-spayed females will sometimes fight amongst themselves to compete for the attention of a male dog, but spaying can reduce or eliminate this behavior. Spaying can also reduce the chance of hormonally driven guarding behavior; female dogs with puppies can become aggressive towards people or other dogs who attempt to touch or come near their puppies. There are some cases where the female does not actually get pregnant during her heat cycle, however, she can experience “pseudopregnancy” or false pregnancy, where she “adopts” objects around the house and treats them like a litter of puppies. These females will guard the adopted objects as if they were real puppies.
To prevent the behaviors listed above from occurring, it is best to get your female dog spayed before she reaches sexual maturity between the age of 6 to 12 months.
If you want to get your pet spayed, contact your local veterinarian or visit the ASPCA.
All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Texas Alliance for Homeless Pets takes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.