Neutering or spaying your older dog will provide him with many health benefits. Not only in his old age but also during his entire lifetime. Now is as good a time as any to schedule an appointment for your pup! While you might think that it’s too old, research shows there are many benefits to spaying early. We spoke with Dr. Zay Satchu, cofounder and chief veterinary officer at Bond Vet in New York City to learn more about the issue. “Age is not a barrier as long as the pet is healthy overall,” Dr. Satchu said. Some vets may recommend a more thorough workup before surgery. Depending on the age and medical history of your dog. Meaning she’ll undergo some extra tests to make sure she’ll be safe to proceed. “Even if there are some health concerns, for example, a heart murmur, if the dog receives X-rays or an echocardiogram (or both) and it is determined that anesthesia will be safe, the benefits usually still outweigh the risks,” she said.
Benefits of spaying or neutering your older dog
Just like with spaying or neutering your puppy, getting your older dog fixed helps lower the risk of a ton of health issues that are pretty common in intact dogs. “Dogs are exposed to the same risks of remaining intact as cats are, including pyometra [an infection in the uterus of unspayed females], testicular cancers, mammary cancers, and prostate problems,” Dr. Satchu said. Dogs who are fixed have a lower instance of undesirable behavior than dogs who remain intact. Like excessive barking and humping. A neutered male or spayed female dog is at a lower risk of running away to seek out mating opportunities.
The healing process after a spay or neuter in older dogs
According to Dr. Satchu, older dogs may take longer to heal from a procedure. Especially with a spay since it’s more invasive. “Your senior dog may heal more slowly. And will need to be kept quiet after their procedure to give them time to heal,” Dr. Satchu said. This means you’ll want to keep an extra eye on your dog after surgery. And make sure to check in with your vet to make sure she’s healing properly. “As long as your vet clears your dog for a spay or neuter (or dental cleaning!), don’t let age hold you back,” Dr. Satchu said.
If you’re on the fence about when to get your older dog spayed or neutered, then watch this video for more information: