Dog Birth Control Options

Dog birth control should be taken into consideration by pet owners who want to avoid unwanted pregnancies. The birth control options range from neutering to pills. Weighing the pros and cons and deciding on the best choice for your dog is important.


Spaying is a permanent sterilization of the dog. Spaying or ovariohysterectomy is the surgery that removes the uterus and the ovaries of a female dog. The best time for spaying is when the dog is between 6 to 9 months old, but spaying can be done at any age in the dog's life. The procedure is uncomplicated, but some dogs may react negatively to anesthesia. The dog should recover within 24 hours after the surgery.

The pros for spaying are:

  • No heat cycles and behavioral changes related to these cycles
  • The dog will be friendlier
  • Fewer behavioral problems
  • Zero risk of breast and reproductive system cancers

A spayed dog is more prone to:

  • Joint problems
  • Obesity, so the dog's diet must be supervised and the calorie intake should be reduced to prevent weight gain
  • Cancers
  • Thyroid disease

Dog Birth Control Pill

The dog birth control pill is an alternative to spaying, and is effective if the pills are administrated and taken properly. The pill contains megestrol acetate and is administrated at the beginning of the heat cycle of the female dog. The pill should delay the cycle.

There are side effects to the dog birth control pill including:

  • Frequent infections of the uterus
  • Breast cancer
  • Breast enlargement
  • Weight gain
  • Skin problems

Liquid Contraceptives

Liquid contraceptives are administrated orally. The drops should be given daily for 30 days prior to the time your dog goes into heat. It is difficult to predict when to start the medication, and this may lead to a lengthier administration of the contraceptives, which have numerous side effects.

The side effects of liquid dog contraceptives include:

  • Infertility
  • Liver damage
  • Infections of the reproductive system
  • Behavioral changes
  • Urinating inside the house
  • Unpleasant body odor
  • Rashes and skin problems
  • Vaginal distortion

The liquid contraceptives are recommended for mature dogs that have already had heat cycles.

Tubal Ligation

Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure that involves tying the fallopian tubes of the female without removing the ovaries and the uterus. The tubes may be clamped, stitched or cauterized. The procedure is minor and the recovery is less than 24 hours. The dog will still have heat cycles, but she cannot get pregnant.


Suprelorin is a temporary contraceptive option. Suprelorin is an implant that contains deslorelin and suppresses the testosterone level in males. It can work as a hormone suppressor in females as well. The implant will be placed under the skin, between the dog's shoulder blades. One implant can be effective for 6 months, and may also help in controlling aggressive behavior in your dog.