DECISION TO HAVE YOUR MALE DOG NEUTERED AND/OR YOUR FEMALE DOG SPAYED
Having your pet spayed or neutered is an inexpensive and realistic method of pet population control. The number of unwanted adult and young animals that are euthanized each year in the United States is astounding. Aside from the pet overpopulation problem, neutering a male dog and spaying a female helps prevent (and even eliminates) medical problems associated with hormonal imbalances.
Male and female dogs reach sexual maturity around 9 months of age. Often, male dogs reach maturity slightly later than females. Sometimes confusion exists between sexual maturity and normal puppy behavior. Normal puppy behavior is often exhibited when he (or she) straddles the leg(s) of an individual. This behavior has nothing to do with sexual maturity and is performed by both male and female puppies.
Males should be fixed at 5 months of age so they do not become leg lifters and learn to mark their territory.
It is usually noticeable when a female dog reaches sexual maturity. A bloody discharge is seen around her external genital area. This bloody discharge is significant and can last up to 10-14 days. Along with the discharge, the external genitals become swollen. This is the first phase of her heat cycle and is called "estrus." During the last few days of the estrus phase, the female is receptive to the male and can get pregnant.
Aside from having puppies, non-spayed females are more susceptible to mammary gland tumors and uterine infections. Pyometras (infections of the uterus) are extremely common in non-spayed females and almost always require emergency surgery. Mammary tumors get large and multiply quickly if left untreated. Having your dog spayed can eliminate both of these.
Speak with your vet about these options.