Becoming a pet owner is an exciting responsibility that comes with some big decisions. Perhaps the biggest decision a pet parent makes is whether or not to desex their pet. Rescue organizations and animal shelters often desex pets before they are adopted. The primary reason for desexing is animal population control and preventing shelters from overfilling with unwanted litters. First-time pet owners need to understand how desexing works, why to consider it, and whether the procedure is right for their dog.
Sterilizing, fixing, spaying, neutering, and castrating all describe the process of desexing your pet. To desex your pet means that your furry companion undergoes a procedure that permanently takes away their ability to be sexually productive. Female pets can’t get pregnant, and male pets can’t impregnate a female.
Spaying refers to the desexing of a female dog by removing the uterus and ovaries. The routine procedure is considered a major surgery that is performed under full anesthetic and requires hospitalization. Neutering or castration refers to the desexing of a male dog by removing the testicles in a short, minimally invasive operation under full anesthetic.
The age at which a dog can or should be desexed is debatable. Many rescue organizations support desexing dogs before the age of puberty to help avoid unplanned litters and consequently, more unwanted dogs in shelters and pounds. Typically, female dogs are desexed after delivering their first litter so long as they are at least six months old. Most dog breeds become sexually mature by five or six months, especially smaller breeds. Puppies can be spayed or neutered starting at eight weeks old unless your veterinarian recommends delaying the procedure. It’s never too late to desex your pet, but you do want to wait for the best time when it comes to a puppy.
Many pet parents opt not to desex their pets due to the cost of the procedure and out-of-pocket vet bills. Desexing does come with a cost, but there are many discount desexing programs that help offset the costs of the procedure to make it more affordable for pet owners.
The costs of the procedure depend on the sex and weight of the dog. Female dogs undergo a more extensive procedure than male dogs, and the weight determines how much anesthetic will be required. Desexing a small female dog starts around $200 and costs can exceed $400 for a large female dog. Desexing a small male dog starts around $180 and can exceed $380 for a large male dog. Consult with your veterinarian for the actual costs related to getting your pet desexed.
Many pet parents worry about the health and well-being of their furry companion. Without a pet insurance plan, costly vet bills add up and become burdensome. Thankfully, there’s pet insurance for your pet, similar to health insurance for you. A pet insurance policy can help you cover the costs of emergency care, vet bills, and unexpected invoices. The best insurance policy depends on your needs, like the monthly premium, the annual deductible, coverage options, what exclusions apply, and whether there is a waiting period.
Compare pet health insurance from a range of pet insurance companies at iSelect.com.au. Dog insurance is a good idea for breeds that are susceptible to health conditions like hip dysplasia that require physical therapy and the need for cancer treatments. Some medical insurance policies come with an accidental injury and illness plan that covers illness, provided they weren’t pre-existing conditions at the time the policy is purchased. Explore insurance plans with iSelect.com.au and rest easy knowing your furry companion is protected.
Desexing dogs helps control the canine population and prevent unplanned pregnancies. Desexing female dogs eliminates the risk of pyometra and reduces the risk of mammary and ovarian cancer. Desexing male dogs prevents them from learning adult sexual behaviors like excessive barking, excessive territorial behavior, and roaming behavior. Desexing also reduces a male dog’s instinct to find a mate, and especially for indoor dogs, it lowers their curiosity to break loose and go roaming around the neighborhood. It also lowers the risk of testicular cancer and prostate disease in male dogs.
Happy and healthy paws are all you want for your companion, and there’s no right or wrong choice when it comes to desexing your pet. As a pet parent, you should get all the facts and consult with your dog’s veterinarian to weigh the risks and benefits of desexing so you can make the best choice for your dog.