Spaying or Neutering Your Dog FAQ
WebMD veterinary experts answer commonly asked questions about spaying or neutering your dog.
Q: Is it OK to spay my dog when she’s a puppy?
A: We spay or neuter dogs at our clinic at 8 weeks as long as they weigh at
least two pounds. Of course, it varies by breed. Some of the tiny breeds have
to be done later. But larger breeds are usually ready by two months of age.
There are still some people who say pediatric spay/neuter is dangerous, but
that’s not true. It has become much more widely accepted. Those ideas about
needing to wait until after a dog is six months or a year old are really
antiquated and the evidence is to the contrary. Even the American Veterinary
Medical Association supports early spay/neuter.
The puppies recover a lot faster than adults. It’s an easier surgery for
them, and it reduces the rate of disease later on. It’s just a much easier
procedure on younger animals.
Q: It can cost hundreds of dollars to get a dog spayed or neutered. I
can’t afford that. What can I do?
A: There are a lot of low-cost options all over the country. We have a
low-cost spay/neuter clinic in the Atlanta area and we spay dogs for as little
as $70. The ASPCA keeps a database of
low-cost options on its web site. You can put in your zip code, and it will
give you all your options within a certain radius. Click on the “pet care” tab
and look for the low-cost and free spay/neuter database.
Q: Don’t dogs get fat once you spay or neuter them?
A: Dogs, just like people, get fat when they eat too much and don’t get
enough exercise. And that’s something you can control. You can use portion
control and take your dog for a walk.
Q: My dog is a guard dog. If I spay or neuter him, will that stop him
from protecting my house?
A: Spaying or neutering is not going to affect your dog’s desire or ability
to protect your home or protect you. Guard dogs are trained to be guard dogs.
Their behavior is a function of genetics or instinct, environment, and
Many, many police canine units spay or neuter their dogs. There’s no
correlation between spaying or neutering an animal and its ability to protect
But people also need to understand that unless their dog has been trained to
be a guard dog, it isn’t a guard dog. Most dogs are naturally protective, but
if you truly need a dog for protection, and your dog isn’t trained, you’re at
Q: Will my dog stop running away from home if I neuter him?