Deciding whether you should neuter or spay your Goldendoodle or not is a difficult decision, but deciding when to do it should not be. Whether you decide to neuter your Goldendoodle or not is up to you, but you really should make this decision quickly because the window for the best time to spay or neuter your dog is not very large.
So, when to spay a Goldendoodle? Vets recommend that you should spay or neuter your Goldendoodle between the ages of four and nine months. It’s recommended to neuter your male Goldendoodle as soon as they reach puberty to get the most benefits, and most vets recommend the 4-9 months frame for spaying your female Goldendoodle.
Whether to spay/neuter your dog and when to do it are two decisions that will have long-term effects on your dog and making the right decision will help you and them a lot, so in this article, I’m going to explain to you what you should do and when you should do it, and I’ll also answer all of the questions you are thinking of as you are reading this sentence, so keep reading…
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What is spaying or neutering?
If you have noticed, so far I have used spaying and neutering as interchangeable terms, and while this is not considered correct by many, most people get confused about which is which and just refer to the procedure as “fixing” your pet.
But what is the difference? Neutering your dog is removing the male dog’s testicles so they can no longer impregnate their female counterparts and results in the dog losing their interest in mating completely.
Spaying is the surgery in which the female dog’s uterus and ovaries are removed. Most people just refer to both spaying and neutering as “neutering” or “fixing” their pets, and this is fine because the meaning gets across all the same.
Whatever term you use, it all means the same thing; your dog being unable to produce offspring.
Decades ago, people looked at the process of fixing their dogs as something cruel and inhumane; I mean if you would not do this to your children, you certainly should not do it to your dog, right?
Let’s dive deep into this now.
Should you Neuter your Goldendoodle?
To answer my own question: Your dog, as much as you love them, is NOT your kid. Your kid will likely not produce a dozen offspring at once that you are completely responsible with, and they are likely not going to do it with the first mate they find on the street.
By the way, this way of thinking of our dogs like humans is quite wrong, and it even has a name: anthropomorphizing. anthropomorphizing is the attribution of human reactions and feelings to animals, and it’s quite problematic because it leads us to treat animals like humans, which is often bad for the animal’s welfare.
Back to our topic. As time went on, more studies were conducted and more research found that, actually, neutering your pet has plenty of health benefits for them, and the current body of research heavily suggests that unless you are going to allow your dog to mate, you really should neuter them.
To understand why, let’s look at the pros and cons of neutering your Goldendoodle.
The Pros of Neutering your Goldendoodle
Here are the pros of neutering your Goldendoodle that should convince you that your Goldendoodle should be neutered:
No unwanted pregnancies
If you don’t want to deal with unwanted pregnancies, and especially so if you have a female pet, then spaying/neutering them should be a priority to you.
I mean I wouldn’t want my (absolutely adorable and quite expensive) Goldendoodle to get pregnant with a stray dog’s baby, and I don’t think you want that either.
Reduces the chances of them running away
The number 1 reason male dogs run away is to find a mate, and by removing their urge to mate, you are significantly reducing the chances of them running away.
Mating is a very strong urge, too, which means that if your dog is trying to escape, they are going to be trying much harder if they are motivated by their mating instincts than if they were just looking to explore or get some fresh air.
You can also learn about all the other reasons Goldendoodles run away here.
Keep your house and furniture clean
Dogs in heat will have a va***l discharge to attract their male counterparts, and if you don’t deal with it with diapers, it will get everywhere on your carpet, sofas, shoes, and even your clothes as your dog try to spread the scent everywhere to maximize her chances of attracting a mate.
This problem is controllable with diapers, but have you dealt with dog diapers? they are a pain you can do without.
Reduces the risk of cancer and other illnesses
Neutering a male dog takes away the risk of testicular cancer, and studies have also found that it reduces the risk for other problems related to the prostate.
Spaying a female Goldendoodle will also remove the risk of uterine infections and reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.
Furthermore, since your dog will be less likely to run away to find a mate, they are unlikely to contract illnesses from the streets and stray dogs.
Your dog will probably live longer, too
Studies have also found that spayed or neutered dogs will live about one and a half year more than their non-neutered counterparts, which means that by neutering your dog, you are giving them an extra 18 months of life.
You can also learn about the 20 other ways you can make your dog live longer here.
They will calm down
More often than not, spaying or neutering your dog calms them down as their hormones are no longer all over the place like they would normally be. It takes weeks to months for this to happen after they have had surgery, but most dog owners report that their dogs indeed tend to be overall calmer than they used to be after their surgery.
But nothing in life is just positives, right? So, let’s look at some of the disadvantages of neutering or spaying your dog.
The Cons of Neutering Your Goldendoodle
Possibly the biggest con of neutering your Goldendoodle is that you will not get any adorable puppies.
A litter of puppies roaming around the house is one of the cutest things in life, but it’s also a lot of work and it’s your responsibility to care for their puppies for a lifetime or find them suitable homes that will take good care of them.
Since this is surgery, neutering or spaying your dog can be expensive, and so will be the aftercare. These expenses can pile up quickly if there are any complications that pop up after the surgery as well, which is something else you need to keep in mind. We’ll talk about the costs later in this article.
It could cause urinary incontinence
This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. The neutering process can cause urinary incontinence for some dogs.
This will happen only when the surgery takes place before their bodies have had enough time to completely develop their bladder.
If you don’t spay or neuter your dog too early, though, this is very unlikely to happen, and your vet will be able to tell you when is the right time to have the surgery so the risk of this happening is the minimum.
It could change the texture of their coats
After neutering, a dog’s physical appearance may change slightly because it undergoes a hormonal transformation. The most common change is seen in the coat. Neutered dogs’ coat development patterns may be disrupted. Their haircoat texture might also change. This has no long-term impact on the dog’s health, though.
When to spay or Neuter a Goldendoodle?
The recommendations for when you should spay or neuter your Goldendoodle can vary quite a bit depending on the sex of your Goldendoodle and their overall health. But the general recommendation stays the same; Goldendoodles should be neutered or spayed between the ages of four and nine months old.
If we are talking specifically, most vets recommend that male Goldendoodles be neutered once they reach puberty as this stops them from developing behavioral problems such as marking, dominance, and aggression.
Things are more complicated for Female Goldendoodles, though. Some vets recommend that female Goldendoodles should be spayed before their first heat while others recommend that spaying them this early can increase the risk of mammary tumors and that the process should be delayed until after their first heat.
We highly recommend you to ask your vet for advice on the specific case of your dog, as they will be able to give you a personalized opinion.
Everything you should know about the Neutering Surgery
I hope that if you have read this far, you have already made your decision to neuter or spay your Goldendoodle indeed, and you already know what kind of benefits this will bring to your dog and when you should do it, but there are a few more things to know before you go for it, so let’s cover these;
How much does it cost to spay or neuter a Goldendoodle?
You can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $500 or even more for neutering or spaying your Goldendoodle. The cost of spaying or neutering your Goldendoodle can vary significantly depending on a few factors like where you live, where you choose to do it, and what kinds of tests and aftercare are needed for your dog.
In some areas, there are public agencies where you will be able to neuter your dog for as low as $50, while at some high-end vets, your bill can quickly break the $1,000 mark.
These costs don’t only include the surgery itself, but also the pre-operative bloodwork that your vet will probably need before checking your dog in for surgery. This bloodwork is important as it allows your vet to check your dog’s liver and kidney functions before the operation and it allows them to prescribe the best post-operation pain medication for your vet.
This pre-op bloodwork can also show any congenital defects that can cause severe problems later on. Abnormalities caught on the bloodwork also allow your vet to adjust the anesthesia accordingly or to use a different type of anesthesia.
How to Care for Your Goldendoodle after the surgery?
After the surgery, there are some things you should do that will help your dog recover faster, these are:
- Keeping your dog overnight at the vet. This is safer than taking them home in the same day, but your vet may only keep them for a few hours and tell you that you can already take them home the same day.
- Keep your dog inside for up to two weeks after the surgery. You can only take them outside for potty and very short walks (on-leash walks)
- Do not allow your dog to do any intense activities like running or jumping around.
- Try to keep your Goldendoodle calm for at least two weeks and do not do anything that gets them excited or hyper.
- Every day, inspect the incision and check for anything strange like a discharge or a weird smell. If there is anything new, call your vet.
- Don’t bathe your Goldendoodle for two weeks after the surgery.
- Any changes in behavior or signs of sickness like refusing to eat, vomiting, diarrhea, or colors changes in their urine or stool should be reported to your vet right away.
- Make sure you don’t miss any of their medications after the procedure. Some dogs will need meds for a few days after te surgery.
Following your vet’s instructions is crucial as it reduces the chances of them developing any complications.
Is Surgery Risky?
Any surgery, whether it’s in humans or animals, comes with a risk. Your Veterinarian will do their best at every stage to make sure this risk is minimized, but it’s never eliminated.
The pre-ob examinations and bloodwork should minimize the risk, and the continuous monitoring of their vitals by the veterinary technician during the procedure should help with this as well.
You will be asked to not feed your Goldendoodle the night before, and depending on the time of the operation, your vet will give you a specific hour to start your dog’s “fast”. This is to prevent them from vomiting during the surgery, which can happen because of anesthesia.
Your vet will also have a few more pre-and post-surgery instructions that you should follow, and if you do follow them, the chances of everything going smoothly will be very high.
What’s the Difference Between Ovariectomy and Ovariohysterectomy?
An ovariohysterectomy is the usual procedure that most veterinarians employ to remove your Goldendoodle’s uterus and ovaries. This is when both the uterus and ovaries of your dog are removed in a process known as an ovariohysterectomy. Some veterinarians only take away the canine ovary. An ovariectomy is when only the ovary is removed.
Do Goldendoodles Calm Down After Being Spayed or Neutered?
When you spay your Goldendoodle when they are still young, they will have time to adjust and calm down before they reach their full size.
If you wait until after the first heat cycle, then even though your dog may become calmer when spayed, this trait might take longer to manifest.
Whether you decided to neuter your Goldendoodle or not is up to you, but you should definitely give the idea some serious thought and consideration and try to think of what would be better for the dog.
Goldendoodles are prone to developing health problems when they reach maturity, so spaying or neutering them early can help avoid many of these issues. The surgery is usually a routine procedure, but there are some risks involved that your veterinarian will go over with you. By following your vet’s instructions closely both before and after the surgery, you can minimize the chances of any complications.
Do Female Dogs change after being spayed?
Female dogs change after being spayed, as their behavior tends to get calmed and be more level and consistent in general than their unspayed counterparts. Spaying female dogs will usually help them calm down, but how long will it take for them to calm down will depend mainly on when you spayed them.
At what age is it too late to spay a dog?
It’s never too late to spay your dog. While it’s recommended to spay them between the ages of four to nine months as this gives them the most health benefits, you can spay your dog at any age and they will still get some of these benefits. Even senior dogs can be spayed and the benefits will outweigh the cons.
How long will my dog be in pain after spaying?
Most dogs will feel discomfort for a few days only after the surgery and within a week they will be feeling normal. If more than a week after the surgery has passed and you dog is still feeling discomfort or pain, you should contact your vet.
Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources
- Want the best diet for your dog? Check out the best and healthiest foods for golden retrievers at every age here – Dry, Wet, Homemade Recipes, and Treats!
- Looking for new toys? These toys will prove to be fun, engaging, and will stand their heavy chewing.
- Make them look GLAMOROUS with the best shampoos and conditioners and the best brushes here.
- Taking a walk? These are the best leashes, collars, and harnesses for the buck that you can find.
- Find my list of recommendations here.
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