Spaying a dog is the removal of the reproductive organs, including the ovaries and uterus. When a female dog is spayed, her ovaries are removed. If the vet also removes her uterus, she will no longer be able to reproduce or have heat cycles.

Spaying is specific to female dogs only. The procedure is also known as an ovariohysterectomy (where both uterus and ovaries are removed) or an ovariectomy (where only the ovaries are removed). Both surgeries are equally safe and effective. , but behavior related to breeding instincts will cease, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association but in some dogs, this is not the case.  The reaction they put up differ from each other.

spayed dog with incision on the stomach

Advantages of Spaying a Female Dog

Spaying a female dog helps to reduce the number of unwanted animals that enter shelters or rescues. Spaying reduces the chance for mammary cancer, which is common cancer in many female dogs. It can also prevent pyometra, which is a life-threatening infection. Spaying can also help cut down on the number of unwanted animals, which can be a burden on shelters or rescues and is also an emotional burden for the owner.

When to Spay your Dog

Since spaying is the removal of a female dog’s ovaries and uterus, the normal age to do this to your dog is between 4 and 6 months, but most veterinarians recommend it before the first heat cycle. This occurs somewhere between 5 and 10 months of age. Spaying before her first heat cycle greatly reduces her risk of developing dog breast cancer which serves as an advantage to the dog owner.

when to spay your dog

Spaying a female dog before the age of 6 will often prevent the development of breast cancer. This is because spaying removes the ovaries, which produce estrogen. Estrogen can cause cells to grow abnormally and lead to tumors in dogs with intact ovaries. These tumors can be expensive to remove and may require dangerous surgeries.

Recovery Plan

Before surgery, dogs should be thoroughly examined to ensure that they are healthy. Blood work may be recommended to ensure that there are no underlying health issues in the dog.

Dogs that have undergone surgery should be kept in and away from other animals during the recovery period. Dogs shouldn’t be allowed to run around or jump on and off things for up to two weeks after surgery, as long as their vet advises.

recovery plan for a spayed dog

To ensure the dog is unable to lick its incision site, use a cone. Do not bathe the dog for at least 10 days after the surgery. If you have a dog, you’ll need to make sure the incision is healing properly. If redness, swelling, discharge, or a foul odor are present, contact your vet immediately. Call the vet if your dog is uncomfortable, lethargic, eating less or vomiting, and/or has diarrhea.

Post Surgery Plan

Some dogs do tend to need fewer calories (by about 20 percent) when they are spayed, but their diet should be adjusted accordingly and they should be kept active so that they won’t gain weight. Unwanted behavior in some dogs is stopped through this process.


Kehinde Ezekiel is a freelance writer who has covered many topics, including home improvement, gardening, pets, tech, and parenting.

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