The Optimal Age for Your Pet to Be Spayed

The Optimal Age for Your Pet to Be Spayed

Spaying your pet is the responsible thing to do as a pet owner. Thousands of kittens, puppies, bunnies, and other pets find their way to shelters or on their own in the wild due to rampant breeding. Pet owners who have their pets spayed at a young age, avoid the stress and mess of a pet in heat, as well as avoiding litters that may not be able to find homes. Yet many pet owners are not aware of what age they should spay their pet. Here are the basic guidelines.

Dogs

Female dogs should be spayed before their first heat in order to get all of the health benefits of the procedure. The age at which a dog goes into heat for the first time varies greatly by breed. Smaller dogs usually go into heat earlier and more frequently. Most dogs are able to be spayed anytime after they reach eight weeks of age. It is a good idea to spay your dog as soon as they reach this age, or as soon as you can after they are adopted if they are older.

Cats

Knowing when to spay a cat is a bit trickier. In times past, most veterinarians suggested that cats be spayed at about six months of age. Yet due to overpopulation and rampant breeding, some vets are recommending spaying cats at a younger age. Some breeds of cats can become pregnant as soon as they are four months of age. Your vet will be able to tell you the best time to spay your cat, but some are doing it as soon as seven weeks.

Other Pets

For other types of pets, there is a general rule of thumb to use. You want to spay your pet just before or as soon as they have reached sexual maturity. If you spay your pet too soon, it could have negative health effects. On the other hand, if you put it off too long you could easily wind up with a litter.

If you have a new pet and are not sure when to have it spayed, contact our office today for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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