When you become a puppy owner, there are several things you should do to promote your puppy’s overall well-being, such as making sure he gets plenty of exercise, feeding him a quality diet, having frequent veterinary check-ups, and scheduling a spay or neuter at the appropriate age.
Neutering your Labrador – or gonadectomy – is one of the best ways to ensure your puppy’s happy, healthy life. The procedure has been proven to reduce significant health risks such as cancer, eliminate unwanted pregnancies and even combat undesirable behavior in males.
If you are considering spaying or neutering your puppy, the first thing to do is to find the right time to do it based on your Labrador’s age.
What is the difference between spaying and neutering?
Spaying, or ovariohysterectomy, is a procedure specific to female dogs that involves removing the reproductive organs, including the ovaries and uterus. After this, she will no longer be able to reproduce and will not have estrus cycles.
Sterilization, orchiectomy, is the male-specific procedure of removing both testicles so that he can no longer reproduce. Neutering helps control reproductive needs and suppresses undesirable behaviors such as aggression.
When should a Labrador be neutered?
Although this procedure has improved your Labrador’s overall health, performing it too early in your puppy’s life can increase health risks. Some veterinarians believe that six months of age is a good time to spay or neuter a dog. Still, one study found that doing it so early could increase the likelihood of joint disorders and certain cancers in adulthood.
According to the American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation, large-breed dogs, such as Labradors, should be spayed or neutered after puberty. This usually occurs when the dog weighs more than 45 pounds and is between 9 and 15 months old.
Before making an appointment, ask your veterinarian about the right time for your puppy based on his health, gender, and size.
Benefits of spaying or neutering
Neutering your Labrador puppy has several health benefits. Doing so will help prevent undesirable behaviors or diseases in breeding animals.
Benefit #1: Prevents puppies from being bred
An unspayed female Labrador whose puppies are not spayed can have as many as 67,000 puppies during the mother’s six-year life. But even if you plan to keep one or two litters, bitches can have as many as 12 puppies per litter, which can be hectic and expensive to keep track of all their behaviors, care, and health needs.
Generally, breeders will ask you to sign a form in which you agree to have your puppy spayed or neutered when she comes of age. This helps prevent overpopulation, unsafe breeding practices, and unwanted puppies in the future.
Benefit #2: Reduced health risks
Did you know that spaying or neutering your Labrador increases their longevity? It’s true: their life expectancy increases by 13.8% in males and 26.3% in females!
A gonadectomy – the general term used for the spay/neuter procedure – increases your puppy’s lifespan and reduces essential health risks, such as pyometra.
Pyometra is one of the most common and potentially fatal uterine infections specific to labs. The good news is that spaying and neutering reduce the risk of contracting this infection. Men also have a lower risk of testicular cancer, and women are less likely to have breast, uterine, ovarian, or cervical tumors.
Benefit #3: Helps solve behavioral problems
As a male laboratory dog enters adulthood, he may begin to exhibit some of the undesirable behaviors that accompany puberty, such as
Spaying or neutering is the most effective way to reduce these habits. In addition, bitches will stop coming into heat throughout the year, eliminating howling and bleeding during breeding periods.
Spaying and neutering are among the most common pet surgeries worldwide. Not only does it help reduce unwanted pregnancies, but it has also been shown to help address behavioral problems and prevent significant health risks in adulthood. The best time