Best Age for Neutering a Dog

by Tom Ryan
Your vet can help you pinpoint the best time frame for your breed's neutering.

Your vet can help you pinpoint the best time frame for your breed's neutering.

Dean Golja/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Debate continues on the exact age male dogs should be neutered. For years, the surgery was performed only after age 6 months, but nowadays, with more suitable surgical equipment than in eras past, neutering is common among pups as young as 8 weeks. Most veterinarians agree that the procedure is best completed while a dog is still a puppy.

Neutering Young

The best age for neutering a dog depends largely on the breed and size, but neutering as young as the breed allows can prevent hormonally motivated habits like urine-marking and mounting from becoming part of your dog's routine. Neutering during puppyhood doesn't just help behaviorally -- puppies physically recover from the procedure more easily than older dogs. Some dogs may be neutered as young as 6 weeks old, while others may need be between the ages of 2 months and 6 months. Generally, larger breeds are ready by the time they are 8 weeks old, and smaller breeds may need more time until they are at an appropriate weight.

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