Is your dog’s spaying or neutering appointment coming up? Spaying and neutering is an extremely important step for all dog-owners to take with their pets. This procedure helps keep unwanted dog pregnancies to a minimum, ensures that several diseases are avoided, and prevents unexpected puppies from becoming strays.
Typically, spaying and neutering happen fairly early on in a dog’s life, with some shelters performing the operation prior to adoption, at about 8-12 weeks of age. Although the best time to spay or neuter your dog varies depending on their breed, we typically recommend doing so when they’re between 6 to 18 months old.
In addition to preventing unwanted dog pregnancies, spaying and neutering can provide other benefits to your pup as well. These include:
- Reduced aggressive behaviour in male dogs, meaning they’re less likely to get into fights with other dogs and will be less aggressive to humans as well
- Less territorial drive, which will help your dog to be more passive as well
- An increased average lifespan
- Completely eliminated risk of ovarian/uterine cancer
- Completely eliminated risk of testicular cancer
- Greatly reduced risk of mammary cancer
As you can see, there are many great reasons to get your dog spayed or neutered. So what do you need to know in the days leading up to the day of the procedure? Here are some tips on how to get ready for your dog’s spaying or neutering appointment.
Make sure your dog is crate trained
Often, dogs that have just been spayed or neutered will be restricted to a crate when alone for a few days after the surgery. This is to ensure they have lots of time to rest and recover, and also helps them to stay still and prevent injury when you’re not there to supervise.
If your dog hasn’t been crate trained or doesn’t spend much time in their crate, we recommend getting them accustomed to it as soon as possible. For a week or two prior to the surgery, you should put your dog in their crate when leaving the house rather than letting them roam free. They may not love it, but doing this will get your dog used to spending time in their crate, and ensure they’re not too confused or upset when you do have to crate them post-surgery.
Set up your house to ensure your dog can’t harm themselves
Creating dog-safe areas in your home is important for the same reasons that crate training is. Dogs need to have limited activity as they heal from their surgery, which is why you should ensure they can’t access stairs or furniture that they might try to climb or jump on.
In addition to crating your dog when you’re not home, we recommend using baby gates or other barriers to create a small, safe area for your dog to roam in. This will protect your dog from opening their stitches or otherwise harming themselves and will speed up their recovery time as well.
Restrict food the day/night before the surgery
Your veterinarian will always give you surgery preparation instructions prior to your dog’s spaying or neutering appointment. One of the most common things they ask is that you restrict your dog’s access to food prior to surgery. This ensures that they don’t vomit when placed under anesthesia or aspirate (breathe) it.
Water can be offered because it will prevent dehydration prior to the procedure. However, it should be removed first thing in the morning prior to the scheduled appointment. If your dog eats or drinks something before the appointment takes place, you will need to reschedule.
As you probably know, dogs are often keenly aware of their owner’s emotions, reactions, and mental state. That’s why it’s crucial that you keep as calm as possible in the time leading up to your pup’s spaying or neutering appointment.
If your dog picks up on your anxiety or nervousness prior to the appointment, they’ll feel anxious as well. This can create a lot of stress for your dog in the time leading up to their surgery and can make the entire process more difficult for everyone involved. It’s normal to feel slightly nervous before your pup goes in for surgery, but it’s vital that you keep those feelings as under control as possible for the sake of your pet.
Ensure you work with an experienced veterinarian
One of the best ways to ease the nerves of both you and your dog prior to spaying or neutering is to work with a trusted veterinarian. If you’re searching for a team of animal experts who can perform this procedure with the utmost care, our vets can help. They’re highly trained and experienced in several facets of animal health, including performing safe and effective spaying and neutering on dogs of all breeds.
If you have more questions about preparation for your dog’s spay/neuter appointment, or if you’re ready to book one, contact us today.
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