Have questions about neutering your dog? We’re here to help! Let’s talk about how long they should rest after being neutered, the right age to neuter, and if their behavior changes after being neutered.
What is the Best Age to Neuter a Male Dog?
One of the biggest questions surrounding neutering, and the answer you need to find out first is… what age should you neuter your dog? Vets typically recommend that a male dog gets neutered between six to nine months old. “However, some pet owners have this procedure done at four months. Smaller dogs reach puberty sooner and can often have the procedure done sooner. Larger breeds may need to wait longer in order to properly develop before being neutered.”
Be sure to consult your veterinarian about the right age to get your specific dog neutered. And read below to find out if it’s bad to get your dog neutered too early or too late.
What Happens If You Neuter a Dog Too Early?
You may not realize this, but dogs need to mature and develop to a certain point before they can be neutered—for their own overall health and wellbeing. If your dog gets neutered too early, this can actually cause behavioral issues like “phobias, hostility, and sensitivity. Your dog may also become obese and develop hypothyroidism.” Neutering too early can also cause increased bone growth, which changes your dog’s naturally intended height.
Is 2 Years Old Too Late to Neuter a Dog?
There is no age maximum for a dog to be neutered. So don’t worry if you adopted a dog that’s no longer a puppy. They can still be neutered too. In fact, the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation actually has studies that show the potential health risks of neutering and spaying a pet—like joint disorders and cancers.
And that “delaying neuter until after 11 or 23 months of age may decrease the risk of developing these joint disorders and cancers.” So it may actually be better to wait a little longer, if you’re able.
Do Male Dogs Change After Being Neutered?
A typical, non-neutered dog will have urges to find a mate. This usually leads to some undesired behaviors like humping, mounting, wandering, and urine-marking. Also, a non-neutered dog might show aggression toward other male dogs that he deems as competition.
Once your male dog is neutered, he won’t have these behaviors anymore—or at least not as much. There may be some lingering habits if he was a little older when he got neutered.
Their appetite and weight may increase after neutering too. And a lot of people tend to notice their male dog acting calmer after being neutered—which is a real thing. But this isn’t true across the board. It depends on your specific pup’s breed, training, and personality.
Why Does My Dog Smell Weird After Being Neutered?
This may sound like a gross question. But once your pup gets neutered, you may be asking this same thing. It’s actually quite normal for male dogs to have small amounts of discharge for up to three days after being neutered. And because you can’t bathe your dog or get the incision area wet while they are healing, this discharge could have an unpleasant smell in the meantime.
But if your dog has any excessive odors or discharge, it’s best to call your veterinarian right away.
Can I Walk My Dog 4 Days After Neutering?
Sorry, but walking your dog that soon is not recommended. Although every dog is a little different with their recovery time, it’s best to keep your dog rested indoors—no jumping or playing. And they should remain on-leash when they go outdoors to go to the bathroom.
This is especially hard if your pup is a high-energy dog. But their incision needs time to heal. And it’s held together with either stitches or a surgical glue that you don’t want to come undone.
How Long Should a Male Dog Rest After Being Neutered?
After being neutered, the typical vet recommendation is that your male dog rests for 7-10 days. Some dogs will heal up sooner, and some will take longer. It’s also crucial to make your dog wear an E-Collar (also known as an Elizabethan Collar).
As sad as it is to see them in the “cone of shame,” it really is going to help them avoid any biting or licking at the incision site. And it will save you lots of money later on if they were to undo the surgery. You wouldn’t want to have to pay for that all over again, would you? And I’m sure your pup wouldn’t want to endure that again either.
Consult your veterinarian about proper recovery times, and which mild activities are ok to do indoors within that first week. Thankfully for male dogs, the procedure is easier and quicker to heal from than it is for female dogs. So your newly neutered pup will be back to running and playing again in no time.
For more helpful articles about pet-parenting tips, check out the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com.
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