The decision to neuter your dog is likely to be one of the most critical choices you make as a pet owner. Unfortunately, there is a lot of conflicting information and advice around choosing the right time to neuter your dog. There are some benefits for neutering, but also some risks too. Most veterinarians recommend neutering, but do the benefits always outweigh the risks?

Unfortunately, as is often the case, there is no one-size fits-all-answer! Here we’ll look at some of the reasons for and against neutering. We’ll cover some of the specifics for your particular situation and when you should neuter your dog. That way, you, together with your veterinarian, can find the best approach for your pooch.

If you don’t have a veterinarian, check out this guide on how to choose one.

Karing Hearts strongly recommends waiting until they have completed their key growth stages – Females after first heat cycle and males after 1 year of age.

What to expect

Knowledge is power, and it pays to know what to expect when you neuter your dog. There are several scientifically proven benefits to neutering dogs. There are health benefits and some things that can improve the relationship between you and your dog.

A veterinarian performs the procedure itself. Neutering is a routine operation and is very safe. Complication rates from the surgery are low and most dogs recover quickly and without any problems. The procedure is done under general anesthetic, so your dog is asleep and shouldn’t feel a thing.

Neutering is typically performed as a one-day procedure, so usually, your dog will come home the same day.

There are a few things that you will need to do differently while your pet recovers from the surgery.

When should I neuter my large breed male dog?

This is where the decision gets a bit more complicated. Larger dog breeds are much more likely to get cancer or joint problems after neutering, and the bigger the dog, the bigger the risk.

When it comes to privately-owned pets in secure homes, here are AAHA’s most recent recommendations.

Dogs: According to the AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines, large-breed dogs (over 45 pounds projected adult body weight) should be neutered after growth stops, which usually is between 9 and 15 months of age. The decision on when to spay a large-breed female dog is based on many factors—your veterinarian can help narrow down the recommended window of 5 to 15 months depending on your dog’s disease risk and lifestyle.