Should I Spay My Dog or Cat?

There are certainly medical benefits to spaying and neutering each of the pets in your home. But what does it really mean to have your cat or dog spayed?

Below is our guide on what spaying is, some considerations when making the decision to spay, the benefits of the procedure, and when it is best to have your pets spayed.

What Is Spaying?

Spaying, medically known as an Ovariohysterectomy, is the surgical removal of a female pet’s reproductive organs: the ovaries and the uterus. Neutering is the surgery’s male equivalent.

Medical Benefits of Spaying Your Dog or Cat

Spaying your pets eliminates the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy, while also preventing reproductive system cancer and reducing the potential for your dog or cat to develop breast cancer.

Spayed female pets also cannot develop a potentially life threatening infection of the intact uterus called pyometra; though, very rarely, a spayed female pets can develop an infection of the small amount of uterine tissue that can sometimes remain after a spay surgery known as stump pyometra.

When Should I Have My Cat or Dog Spayed?

Young pets are good candidates for the surgery, with most pets best suited for it between four and six months of age. This timeframe should be prior to the development of the hormone that makes kittens and puppies want to mate. However, the timing can depend on the breed and size of your pet. Talk to your veterinarian about the age that will be best for your individual pet.

Older pets can have the surgery as well. At any age, however, it is recommended that you perform pre-surgical bloodwork, prior to the administration of anesthesia, to determine the health of your pet’s liver and kidneys. At Banfield, we require this bloodwork prior to every spay, which gives your veterinarian a better idea of the risk that the anesthesia may place on your pet. Generally, a spay is a one-day visit to the hospital for surgery, with an at-home recovery period following it.

Optimum Wellness Plan® Can Curb the Cost of Spaying Your Dog or Cat

With twice-yearly comprehensive exams, routinely recommended vaccinations, diagnostic testing, the inclusion of a spay as part of the package, and much more, Banfield’s puppy and kitten Optimum Wellness Plans® are designed especially for this young, developmental stage to get your new canine and feline family members off to a great start with a preventive care package that evolves with the needs of your pet.

Need More Information?

If you have any further questions, contact your local veterinarian, or request an appointment to see when your cat or dog can be scheduled in for surgery. In the meantime, feel free to browse our Pet Health or Ask a Vet libraries to find more information about spaying and neutering, or look through the related content links below.