Our dog was approaching her 7th month and we decided it was time to have her spayed. Although few would disagree about the importance of having your pet spayed or neutered, the decision as to when to have it done s a very personal one. Some rescue organizations prefer to have their animals fixed sooner rather than later (ie. under 16 weeks) to prevent any change of having an unwanted litters but some argue that this can increase the risk of some types of diseases in dogs….research is lacking on the effect on cats.
However, it is highly recommended that female dogs/cats should be fixed prior to their first heat (depending on the breed of cat/dog it can range from 4 months up to 24 months you should discuss with your vet when this is likely to occur in your pet).The question of when to neuter a male depends on whether or not an owner cares to have a more “manly” looking dog (ie. bigger etc) and is able to take steps to ENSURE their dog will not wander and mate (a bigger issue than what the animal looks like in my opinion). Male cats will also develop a more mature look (thicker face etc) if they are neutered after the onset of puberty (look here for an example).
In both species, neutering has been shown to significantly reduce/prevent unwanted behaviors such as roaming, marking and fighting in males.
The recovery time of males tends to be a bit faster than females (not surprising when you consider a male cat can be neutered in two minutes but a female is basically a hysterectomy).
If you want a step by step depiction of what a spaying operation involves then you must visit this site.
Next time I’ll discuss how to deal with challenge of trying to keep your pet quiet (and not licking their sutures).