Will Spaying Affect a Dog's Growth?

by Betty Lewis
    Spaying before she's a year old won't stunt her growth; in fact, she may get a little taller.

    Spaying before she's a year old won't stunt her growth; in fact, she may get a little taller.

    Russell Illig/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Pet ownership is fraught with myths, and sometimes it's difficult to know which ones are based in fact and which to ignore. One belief is that spaying a dog will stunt her growth. If you're concerned Lucy won't fully develop because she's spayed, rest easy because it's not true.

    Effects of Early Spay

    If Lucy's spayed before she's 6 months old, she may grow a bit taller than if you wait. The loss of hormones results in slower closure of her growth plates, affecting her long bones. The additional growth is slight and harmless, and won't cause her to look disproportionately taller. Other potential effects of early spaying have been studied, including increased urinary incontinence, hip dysplasia, and obesity. According to dvm360, study results have been mixed in some cases, such as hip dysplasia and incontinence, and unfounded in others. Dogs spayed during their first year tend to have a faster surgical procedure and quicker recovery time.

    Photo Credits

    • Russell Illig/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Betty Lewis has been writing professionally since 2000, specializing in animal care and issues, business analysis and homeland security. Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University as well as master’s degrees from Old Dominion University and Tulane University.

    Trending Dog Behavior Articles

    Have a question? Get an answer from a Vet now!