You May Be Spaying Your Dog Too Soon

Part II of IV: You are spaying your dog too soon!

Puppies side by side

How young is too young for your dog to undergo the invasive ovariohysterectomies procedure? Let’s start by asking “How young is too young for a woman to have a hysterectomy?” Both questions become relevant when you consider that in either case having the procedure too early may have similar negative consequences.

In fact, it is the negative effects of early hysterectomies performed on women that prompted Dr. David J. Waters to study the effects of early spaying in dogs. Depending on the type of hysterectomy performed, having an early hysterectomy means the woman’s body will stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. What Dr. Waters discovered is that a similar thing happens in dogs. After spaying, our pets don’t produce hormones in the same way as before the spaying is performed.

Fortunately for women, physicians typically prescribe hormone replacement therapies to counteract any effects when the women are no longer producing the hormones. Unfortunately, such hormone replacement is rarely prescribed for our pets. This means that our pets may begin to experience symptoms akin to early menopause.

The fact that our veterinarians rarely prescribe hormone replacement therapy for our dogs is not the only difference between an early hysterectomy and early spaying. Women and dogs differ in the age at which they undergo the procedure. According Women’s Health Magazine, as reported by the CDC, women who live in the South are likely to be aged 41.6 years, and women in the North are 47.7 when the procedure is performed.

While there is no clear North versus South data regarding the average age our pets are spayed, one thing seems pretty clear: unlike with women, our dogs may not be adults when they are spayed. The advantage of being an adult when a hysterectomy is performed is that the adult is typically done growing. For our pets, when spaying occurs, it usually happens when the dog is pre-adolescent. The conclusion we can draw is that our pets are not done growing when spaying occurs.

There has been much debate on the problems associated with spaying dogs too early? But, what does that really mean? In Part I of our blog series, titled “At What Age Should We Spay Our Dog?” we noted that veterinarians are at odds on what age it is safe to spay your dog. Some vets suggest that it is safe to spay a dog between 6 and 9 months. Others suggest waiting for as long as 4 years to allow the dogs growth plates to grow out and promote a healthier longer living pet.

We concluded that as pet parents we probably know when the time is right. We can start with our innate understanding that some dogs are just too young to spay.

The owners of Highly Favored Creations, LLC are dog lovers. We realize that the decision of if and when to spay is a difficult one. Whether or not you wish to wait until your pet is fully grown (or at least until she is an adolescent) before spaying, you will likely want to avoid accidental and unwanted litters until you decide. If that is the case, you will want to consider our Pet Anti-Breeding SystemTM

(PABSTM). It is dog chastity belt that gives you confidence that your pet is protected until the time is right.

If you are concerned about your dog’s health, you need a PABSTM!


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In our next blog, we will explore how to determine your pet’s age in dog years before you spay.