The old vet I used would not do it prior to 6 months. I think the boys were about 6 months. But when Ginger was 6 months he wanted to giver her a few more weeks. Guess what? Yep. Heat within a week. So she was running around in puppy panties and the boys, who were 3 and neutered but still had olfactory senses, were wondering around sniffing the air and asking WTF?
My pups were neutered at eight weeks. Bitches have to be at least six months old, I believe.
A lot of animal shelters are doing "flank spays" now and altering can be done when much younger. It sure saves the problem of expecting the adopters to take care of things at the appropriate age.
A lot of veterinarians now perform what is called "pediatric" spay and neuter - which basically means they do the procedure on very young animals. The general requirement seems to be that the pups must be about 2 lbs in weight or at least 8 to 10 weeks of age (varies by vet).The reason many shelters and rescues opt to take this route is that this ensures these puppies will never be bred by their adopters - it's a sad thing that they have to use this method to make sure, but it's really the only 100% guarantee they have.A lot of veterinarians are against early spay and neuter because it interferes with a dog's natural growth and hormonal development. Pups altered early tend to grow taller (leggier) than pups allowed to grow and mature naturally, and there's a whole host of other possible health issues that can be associated with early spay/neuter.In the sport dog world and working dog world, most people don't alter until a dog is fully mature, which means that the dog is at least one year old, if not older. Many people with working German Shepherds do not alter until 18 to 24 months of age, to give the dog time to mature and develop normally. In the pet world, most veterinarians still recommend that dogs should not be altered before at least 6 months old - later for large breed dogs as they grow and mature more slowly.Obviously, with shelter pups, early spay/neuter may come with issues but it's the only way to make sure the dog won't be bred.
A lot of shelters are neutering very young. Nico, who is only 10 weeks is supposed to get neutered on Friday. I am trying to push it off. Also, you might want to wait to get another puppy. If you get a pair of dogs when they are puppies they are more likely to bond together than to you.
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