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A dog’s life: neutering

Your puppy has settled into your home and is learning lots of new things through puppy training and socialisation. So far, so good! Now is the time to start thinking about another important step in their young life: neutering.

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Puppy preschool

It is always important to discuss neutering with your vet, or even seek the advice from a couple of different vets. Accepted medical guidelines say dogs can be neutered after 6 months old. For female dogs, some wait until they have had their first season before being spayed. For male dogs, particularly bigger breeds, some wait longer until the dog has reached sexual maturity before castrating.

By the time unneutered male dogs reach sexual maturity at around 12 months, they begin to be governed by their hormones. The social issues of an unneutered male can be especially pronounced in a doggy day care setting, because there are a number of dogs together for extended periods of time.

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In our setting, we have noticed young entire males, in particular can display anti-social behaviours. Their natural instinct is to mount other less confident male dogs and will generally fixate on one dog, persistently following them around the field. This isn’t fun for either dog, and means the unneutered male is missing out on the friendly doggy interaction going on around him.

One common questions our owners ask is if their male dog will lose their personality if neutered. Having cared for dogs for more than a decade we have found that neutering has no effect on a dog’s personality, but has influenced their mood and made some behaviours less or more likely.

Always do your own research and seek professional opinions on neutering before making your own decision as to whether it is right for your dog. If you come to the decision to neuter, here’s our simple three-step guide…

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1. When to neuter?

1. When to neuter?

This varies from breed to breed so discuss with your vet.

At Bruce’s we require male dogs older than 12 months to be neutered. Female dogs do not have to be spayed, however they are not able to attend day care when in season. A female dogs season can last between 2 – 4 weeks.

 

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2. How to neuter?

2. How to neuter?

While the process involved is a full medical procedure, it’s an operation vets undertake regularly and is fairly quick and simple. The Blue Cross has some excellent information on what’s involved.

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3. Neutering aftercare

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3. Neutering aftercare

All being well, your puppy will be up and about just a few hours after surgery. Monitor them closely for 24 hours. Within 2-3 days they will be back to their normal self.

Restrict their exercise for the first 7 days to ensure they don’t burst their stitches. Some vets use dissolving stitches while others will remove them.

This blog is part of a series focusing on a dog’s life from puppy to pensioner! Read about how to look after your dog – from agility and grooming to neutering and zoning out.

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