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.

    Photo Credits

    • Dean Golja/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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