spaying or neutering your puppy

Help prevent puppy pregnancy

Spaying and neutering are two of the most common surgeries for puppies. While both boy and girl dogs can be “neutered,” only female dogs get spayed. Both procedures help prevent unwanted pet pregnancies, and there are other good health reasons to spay or neuter your pup.

Spray Neuter
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Basic benefits of spaying and neutering

The benefits of spaying and neutering don’t stop at eliminating unwanted pregnancies. Spaying your girl pup before her first heat cycle (typically before she’s 6 months old), helps to reduce the risk of mammary cancer, and eliminates the risk of uterine or ovarian cancer. Spaying also reduces the risk of sexually transmitted disease and, because she can’t get pregnant, your sweet girl won’t suffer any birthing issues.

Neutering your male pup also has benefits. Neutering eliminates worries about possible pet pregnancies and helps to limit overpopulation. Neutering eliminates the risk of testicular cancer in your pup and reduces the risk of prostate diseases. We typically recommend neutering your good boy when he’s between 4-6 months old, so he’ll have an easier time recovering.

How spaying and neutering work

Here’s where we get a little more technical. A spaying procedure, also called an ovariohysterectomy, removes your puppy’s ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. For males, a neutering procedure means removing the testicles.

While there are risks with any surgical procedure, neutering and spaying provide important lifelong benefits. Rarely, some pets may have a reaction to the anesthesia used for the procedure like vomiting, diarrhea, irritation at the surgical site, and lethargy. Some puppies’ pre-procedure test results may prevent them from having surgery, while others may require additional tests to ensure they’re ready. Always notify your veterinary team if you have any concerns before the procedure so they can work with you.

A female veterinarian explaining a medical report to a dog owner, who is holding his dog on a leash at the Banfield Pet Hospital

Your veterinary team will work with you to plan, prep your puppy for the procedure, and know how to take care of them before and after.

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Before and after your puppy’s procedure

Recovery can take up 2 weeks.

  • You may be directed not to feed your pup the day of the procedure
  • Afterwards, your puppy may be sore, especially at the point of incision
  • You may need to limit your pup’s physical activity (no more zoomies)
  • Check the incision area to ensure your pup is healing properly
  • Give your pup a comfortable, clean spot to recover
  • Limit high movement activities like going up stairs or jumping on furniture
  • Contact your veterinary team if you have any concerns

How Banfield can help

We want your pup to live a happy, healthy life. If your puppy is under 6 months old, we suggest looking into our Early Care Plus Optimum Wellness Plan® (OWP) package, which includes a spay or neuter procedure along with exams, vaccinations, and more. Is your puppy over 6 months old? No problem — you can easily add the procedure to any dog OWP.

See how OWPs work

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Optimum Wellness Plans® 

Affordable packages of smart, high-quality preventive petcare to help keep your pet happy and healthy.
See OWP packages