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 is a writer and editor specializing in pet care, animals, careers and emergency management. She previously ran an animal shelter, where she also served as a kennel attendant and dog trainer. Lewis holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, an M.B.A. and a master's degree in professional studies.

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