Should Dogs Be Vaccinated Before They Get Spayed?

by Naomi Millburn
    Puppies are frequently spayed prior to sexual maturity.

    Puppies are frequently spayed prior to sexual maturity.

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    Dog ownership can be a joyous and irreplaceable experience, but it's not without varied responsibilities. If you have a dog, it's up to you to make sure she's always current on her required vaccinations, for example. Spaying is also important for pregnancy prevention in female canines. For puppies, initial vaccinations should come before spaying.

    Vaccinations Prior to Spaying

    If you own a puppy and are in the process of getting her ready for her happy life with you, you'll likely get her vaccinated prior to spaying. Veterinarians often prefer spaying and neutering animals when they're around 4 to 5 months old, according to veterinarian Debra Eldredge and dog expert Kim Campbell Thornton, authors of "The Everything Dog Health Book." This is because young dogs are usually totally through with all their necessary puppy shots by that point.

    Vaccination and Spaying Time Frame

    The Americus Veterinary Hospital recommends that young puppies begin their first regimen of vaccinations at 6 weeks in age and follow up at 9 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks. As far as getting puppies fixed goes, the hospital recommends waiting until puppies are a minimum of 16 weeks in age and are therefore done with their initial vaccinations.

    Hospitals and Clinics Across the Board

    Many hospitals and clinics call for vaccination verification before setting animals up for spaying surgeries. Some offer vaccinations along with spaying services. Hospitals and clinics often are wary about spaying unfixed dogs because of the possibility of infection occurring as an effect of the surgical procedure. This also applies to male dogs and neutering surgeries. When dogs aren't vaccinated, they aren't protected against potential infection. Vaccinated dogs are generally safe from ailments such as rabies and parvovirus.

    Spaying Surgery Requirements

    Before you set aside time for your pet's spaying surgery, make sure you're well aware of all of the veterinary clinic's requirements. Not only do many clinics request vaccination verification, many of them also have age and weight requirements for canines. While it isn't uncommon for veterinarians to perform spaying surgeries on pups of just 8 weeks old, many hospitals are equipped with their own sets of regulations. Some hospitals, for example, spay only canines that are 4 months in age or older. If you have any questions regarding a safe schedule for vaccinating and spaying your specific pet, speak to your veterinarian. She can help you come up with a plan by considering your individual pet's age, health background and needs.


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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.