When Should New Puppy or Kitten Owners Spay or Neuter Their Pets?

by Lisa Fimberg on October 21, 2020

There are many reasons that new puppy or kitten owners should spay or neuter their pets.  It can be helpful for behavioral reasons, controlling the overpopulation of stray pets and can be beneficial to their puppy or kitten’s long-term health.

Below are a few tips to help pet owners understand the importance of spaying and neutering.

What is the difference between spaying and neutering?

Spaying:  Spaying is a surgical procedure which is completed under general anesthesia which removes a female puppy or kitten’s uterus and both ovaries through an incision in the abdomen.  A laparoscopy is sometimes used to spay a puppy or kitten.

Neutering: Neutering is the surgical removal of a male puppy or kitten’s testes.  This procedure is also performed under general anesthesia.

What are the benefits of spaying or neutering a puppy or kitten?

Some of the benefits of spaying or neutering are the following:

Prevents unplanned pregnancies:

A puppy or kitten that is spayed or neutered will not become pregnant unexpectedly.  By being spayed or neutered, it prevents the puppy or kitten from “going into heat” which may attract other unwanted pups or kittens straying towards the home.

Helps long term overall health:

Spaying or neutering can lead to the long term overall health of both puppies and kittens.

Female kittens and puppies that are spayed are less likely to have uterine issues or tumors later in life.

Neutering male kittens and puppies can help prevent prostate disease and testicular cancer.

Prevents overpopulation

Spaying and neutering is a responsible way to prevent the accidental breeding of kittens or puppies.  Many kittens or puppies born to strays end up as strays themselves, or at a shelter.

Behavioral issues:

Neutering and spaying can help reduce some unwanted behavioral issues in puppies and kittens.  They are less likely to roam away from the home, and the procedures can sometimes combat aggressive tendencies in some dogs later in life.

When should new puppies or kittens be spayed or natured?

While any new puppy or kitten owner should always check with their veterinarian as to when they should spay or neuter their puppy or kitten, the consensus is the following:

  • Puppies should be spayed or neutered around 6 months to one year of age depending on the size of the dog.
  • Kittens should be spayed or neutered no later than 8 to 10 weeks of age.

For puppies, it is important to wait until their bodies are fully formed to perform the surgery.

Kittens, on the other hand, mature more quickly than puppies and can become pregnant at a very young age.

What is the recovery time for spaying and neutering?

After spaying, some vet clinics will keep their pup or kitten overnight.  The vet will put a protective collar on their pet to prevent the puppy or kitten from licking the incision.  Activity is generally restricted for seven to ten days.  Most vets will want to see the puppy or kitten a week later to see how the healing is going and to remove the stitches.

Of course, each puppy or kitten breed is different, and their veterinarian is always the best resource to advise your customers of the right age to spay or neuter the pet.  Their recommendation usually takes into consideration the breed, size and health of the puppy or kitten.

There are many other common questions that new pet owners might ask about their pets and this is just one of them.

If you find your store often fields follow up questions from your customers about standard care for their pets, our trained team of Solutions.pet agents are happy to help with those calls! Make sure to contact our Success Team: (successteam@thirdpartypet.com) to learn more about our services.



Lisa FimbergWhen Should New Puppy or Kitten Owners Spay or Neuter Their Pets?