Spaying Your Dog: Will Her Behavior Change?

Spaying your dog is beneficial for her long term health and happiness. Most veterinarians are in favor of the surgery for all dogs that will not be used for breeding or show competition. This minimally invasive operation has become common practice at most pet hospitals, and recovery time is relatively quick.

The Effects of Surgery

Spaying will not change her personality, although she may be less likely to display negative behaviors associated with heat cycles and the drive to mate. The surgery will not affect instincts characterized by her breed such as hunting, herding or retrieving. Spaying also does not cause dogs to gain weight or become lazy.

Spaying Should Occur Before 6 Months of Age

To almost completely eliminate the risk of mammary tumors, dogs should be spayed at about 6 months, before they have their first heat cycle. Most veterinarians and national dog associations agree that dogs can be sterilized as early as 8 weeks. The operation is done through the abdomen and the uterus and ovaries are removed. After the surgery, she will not go into heat or experience the problems of cystic ovaries, false pregnancy, pyometra or uterine cancer.