If you’ve adopted your new four-legged family member from a shelter, you have done a wonderful thing! You’ve saved one of the millions of homeless dogs a fur-ever home. Unfortunately, however, not all dogs are as lucky to get adopted; countless homeless dogs don’t even make it to a shelter and live their lives on the streets or in the wild; worse yet, far too many stray dogs are euthanized each year. What happens to dogs that don’t have homes really is a tragedy; but, you can help to control the problem by spaying or neutering your pet.
When to Spay or Neuter
The ideal age for spaying or neutering is between six and nine months; however, these procedures can be done on puppies as young as eight weeks, as long as they are healthy. Spaying and neutering can also be done throughout adulthood. Do check with your vet to determine when to have your pup “fixed”, as he or she will provide the best information for your specific dog.
Assisting with the Procedure
Though spaying and neutering are very common procedures, complications can arise. To avoid complications, make sure you follow the care instructions offered by your veterinarian prior to and following surgery.
For example, your vet may advice you not offer any dry dog food, wet dog food, or even dog treats after midnight the bight prior to surgery; however, if your spaying or neutering a puppy, your vet may advise you not to withhold dog food, as your young dogs may require adequate nutrition before the procedure, so it may be best to leave your fur-baby’s dog bowl down and full.
After the procedure, your vet will offer you post-operative care instructions. If your pet is in a lot of discomfort, there are medications for dogs available that can help to ease the pain, and your vet may prescribe some or suggest over-the-counter pain relievers. Additionally, the following tips can help to ease your canine companion’s discomfort, prevent complications, and ensure that he or she fully recovers:
- Offer a dedicated spot in a quite area, removed from other animals; for example, prep the dog crate by lining it with a dog crate mate or a dog blanket for some extra padding under the belly, or place his or dog bed in a space that is easily accessible and away from a lot of activity.
- Limit highly strenuous physical activity, such as running or jumping; however, you should consider to take your dog on regular walks
- Avoid letting your pooch lick the surgical site, as licking can lead to infection. Consider offering your pup some dental chews, bully sticks for dogs, or chew toys for dogs to keep his or her mind occupied.
- Avoid bathing your furry friend for at least 2 weeks after the procedure.
- Inspect the incision several times a day to ensure its healing properly; if you suspect an infection is developing or there are any other issues arise, contact your vet immediately.
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