How to Tell If Your Dogs In Heat (cont.)

At What Age Can I Have My Dog Spayed?

Generally, a veterinarian can spay a dog when she is as young as two months old. However, it is best to consult with your veterinarian for specific recommendations regarding the best time to spay your dog.

Why Should I Spay My Dog?

Aside from the toll it takes on your dog to give birth to a litter and raise pups, the number of homeless animals who are euthanized each year makes it an irresponsible decision to allow your dog to mate. (This does not apply to those who are active in canine sporting events, and are knowledgeable about the care of pregnant dogs and nursing puppies.) Though many people have heard that there are health benefits in allowing a dog to have a litter before she is spayed, this belief is unsubstantiated. In fact, the rigors of giving birth and raising pups can lead to premature aging and, in some cases, death. It has also been shown that dogs who are spayed prior to their first heat cycle have a much reduced risk for mammary gland tumors.

The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behavior problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet's condition and put his life at risk.

If you are concerned about the cost of veterinary care, please read our resources on finding financial help.