What Is a Spayed Pet?

Your vet: Your best friend's best friend.
Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

You've been told to have your new fur gal pal spayed, but you’re uncertain what that entails. Spaying is a common veterinarian surgery to remove her uterus and ovaries, thus eliminating heat cycles, preventing unwanted pregnancies and delivery complications, and reducing canine overpopulation. Various behavioral and health benefits are associated with spaying, but discuss the procedure with a vet.

Benefits of Spaying

While spaying won't sharpen your dog's obedience skills, it generally affects behaviors normally associated with the heat cycle, like straying from home in search of a mate. Spaying will also eliminate bloody discharge, frequent urination, irritability, uterine infections, and ovarian and uterine tumors. It also decreases the dog's risk of breast cancer, and hormone-driven guarding and aggression.

Expectations and Considerations

Depending on your dog's age, she may need pre-operation blood tests to ensure she's healthy. Since the procedure requires general anesthesia, she'll remain in recovery for as little as several hours or as long as a day or two. The vet will provide at-home instructions, any necessary pain meds, and possibly an Elizabethan collar to protect her stitches.