The Well Dog Place

Dr. Ken Tudor Holistic Veterinarian

Dog being spayed.  New research suggests that standard approaches to age for dog altering may have adverse consequences.

Holistic Puppy Care 02 | When Should I Spay or Neuter My Dog?

Your vet may suggest that you spay (female) or neuter (male) your dog at 4-6 months of age or before her first “heat cycle.” Shelter and rescue organizations sterilize or “fix” puppies and kittens at 4-6 weeks of age. New research suggests neither of these approaches are the best for the long term good health of dogs.

Since giant breeds like Great Danes, Mastiffs, Irish Wolfhounds, St. Bernards, and Newfoundlands mature slower, especially skeletal maturation, this research may imply that these breeds be neutered even later.

What Problems Does Early Neutering Cause?

In a recent study in German Shepherds and an earlier study in Golden Retrievers, sexual alteration before 1 year was associated with a higher risk of:(abnormal hipjoint development)

  •  Elbow dysplasia (abnormal elbow joint development
  •  Cranial cruciate ligament rupture(knee)
  •  Lymphosarcoma (cancer of the lymph nodes), Hemangiosarcoma (cancer of the spleen) and Osteosacoma (cancer of the bones)
  •  Mast cell tumor (a blood cell tumor)
  •  Urinary incontinence in female dogs (leaking urine)


Spaying or neutering after 1 year can, however, increase the risk of:

  •   Aggressive behavior in male dogs
  •   Mammary cancer in female dogs



Want more information about spaying or neutering your dog? Call us for a wellness consultation appointment.

Ken Tudor DVM
Dr. Ken Tudor, Holistic Veterinarian

Dr. Ken Tudor is a recognized expert and leader in the field of pet nutrition and fitness. He has developed a pet weight management program and served on the American Animal Hospital Association task force to develop their Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. He is also a frequent guest on the Pet World Insider radio show and a popular guest on the televised Pet Ex Talks-Pet Experts Empowering Pet Parents show.

Holistic Puppy Care 02 | When Should I Spay or Neuter My Dog?

Holistic Puppy Care

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(909) 929-0778