Advice on Spaying/Neutering Female Dogs

Advice on Spaying/Neutering Female Dogs

Spaying of a female dog is the removal of the ovaries and uterus (womb) under a general anaesthetic.


What are the advantages?

  • No risk of unwanted puppies.
  • No seasons (or associated hormonal behaviour changes).
  • No false pregnancies. In some unspayed bitches false pregnancy causing lactation and behaviour changes can occur after each season and can cause distress to bitch and owner.
  • No risk of pyometra. Pyometra is a potentially life-threatening infection of the womb that is common in older unspayed bitches.
  • Reduced risk of developing mammary tumours (breast cancer). Spaying before the first season gives the lowest risk of tumours.
Spaying Neutering Female Dogs

When is the best time to spay a bitch?

We recommend the spaying of bitches before their first season, this is best done at approximately six months of age. In some breeds or individual bitches we may recommend spaying after their first season. Our vets will be happy to discuss this with you.

If your bitch has already had a season, then the time to be spayed is between three and five months after a season.

Are there any disadvantages?

The only documented disadvantage is a tendency to gain weight. This is overcome by controlling the diet. In addition there is always a small risk associated with the administration of an anaesthetic and surgery.

Spaying in bitches is major abdominal surgery, however the advantages significantly outweigh the risks.

Should I let my bitch have a litter first?

It is a common misconception that it is healthy to let your dog have a litter. There are no health benefits for a dog to have a litter and there are many unwanted puppies.

Dogs do not form the lifelong bonds with their offspring that we do, so do not get the same emotional benefit. Delaying spaying increases the risk of cancers and infections developing.

Neutering your female pet

Our vets will be happy to discuss this with you.