Spaying your female dog offers many health benefits, including reduced risk of breast cancer, uterine infections and cancer and the messiness associated with estrus. While veterinarians recommend spaying before the first estrus cycle or pregnancy, this is not always possible. Whether you have an older female breeding dog or acquired a pregnant stray dog, spaying after giving birth to a litter of puppies is still beneficial, but some time must pass before it is possible.
Spaying a recently pregnant dog is not recommended until the puppies are eating solid foods and the mother dog’s milk supply dries up. The incision made during the surgical procedure comes very close to the mammary glands. If the milk supply is not dried up, the chance of hitting a mammary gland and spilling milk into the surgery site increases. Weaning typically takes place between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Waiting an additional two weeks after weaning ensures the milk supply is dry.
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images