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What Age Should I Have My Dog Spayed/ Neutered?

I can't tell you how many times I have been asked this very interesting question! So often, in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies, shelters and veterinary offices recommend having your dog or cat neutered at a very young age. I've heard it suggested as young as 8 weeks!? I can definitely understand the wonderful intentions behind it- to combat the overpopulation problem here in the US.

As with anything, it definitely has it's pros and cons. Pro: Prevents unwanted pregnancies. Cons: Creates many unwanted health and medical issues. Done too early, it can disrupt the physical development of your puppy while they are still growing. The growth plates are constantly moving and changing until they are 18 months to two years old. When they are neutered, the bodies' natural ability to produce the proper hormone balance is interrupted. There are also studies that have shown an increase in cancers and joint issues.

Here is a study that was done on the subject:


I totally support the decision to have your dog spayed/ neutered but when asked, I always suggest waiting as long as possible to do so (two years when possible). I also understand that, in some situations, that is just not practical and you will have to decide what is right for your family and situation.

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