When Should I Spay My Puppy?

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Pet owners who plan to spay their female puppies often question when is the best time to have the procedure performed. If the surgery is delayed and the dog comes into heat, some veterinarians charge more for the operation. A pet owner must consider the ramifications of waiting too long, such as possible impregnation. But, if the puppy is too young, she may not be ready to undergo major surgery.

Recommended Age

The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine recommends spaying a puppy between four and six months of age. Before scheduling an appointment, discuss the procedure with your veterinarian, as she may have unique medical concerns. Make sure your puppy is healthy for the surgery. Today, puppies often are spayed at a younger age than they were over three decades ago. Initially earlier neutering started when shelters began routinely spaying puppies prior to adoption.


According to a report by Cornell University’s Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program, the ideal age to spay a puppy is unknown. Traditionally it was done around the six month mark, which happens to be the time when a dog may first come into heat. The report says that this age was determined by concerns for how a puppy might react to anesthetic and surgical techniques. Yet, due to the many changes and advances in veterinary medicine in the last three decades, puppies are now spayed at a younger age.

Early Spaying

The Cornell report says that recent studies indicate that there were no serious medical or behavior conditions related to early age spaying. Spaying early might have some advantages, such as shorter recovery times. If the puppy is spayed before she comes into heat a certain amount of stress will be avoided along with additional costs, especially if the dog has been impregnated.

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