When to Have Your Dog Neutered

It's best to have your dog neutered when he is between 6 and 8 months of age. Although this is a fairly common time frame to have your dog neutered, it is not a standard rule for every dog. Consider your dog's overall health as well as the following points before scheduling surgery.

Testicle Development

To determine if the surgery can be performed, a vet will examine your dog to see if his testicles have descended. It normally takes 7 weeks for a puppy's testicles to drop into his scrotum. If this does not happen, the dog may have a condition called cryptorchidism. This occurs when one or both of a dog's testicles have not descended from his abdomen area.

Neutering Before Puberty Hits

Removing a dog's testes before he reaches puberty is done when he's between 8 and 16 weeks old. Early neutering is typically done at animal shelters to have the dog neutered before he is adopted or to control the animal population.

When some dogs are neutered before they are 6 months old, they grow a bit larger than dogs that have the surgery after puberty. Typically, this is due to testosterone level issues.

Special Considerations for Neutering

For a small breed dog, puberty usually takes place around 6 months of age. Maturity takes longer in a larger breed, which delays neutering until the dog turns one.

A professional animal agency will support the decision to have a dog neutered early. However, this is based on the assumption that a vet will make a responsible evaluation of each dog's case. Sometimes special medical attention is needed during the pet's surgery. A young dog may need a specific type of anesthesia because of his low body temperature.