Whether your poodle is a puppy or one that you got as a stray from a shelter, if you are not breeding them, then they should be spayed or neutered. Most shelters deal with spaying or neutering the pets that are up for adoption, but if not, they often ask you to sign a form promising that this will happen in the near future after adoption.
The importance of spaying or neutering your poodle applies to both social and medical concerns. There are over 6.5 million animals that enter the US shelter system every year, with only approximately 3 million finding a home. By spaying and neutering, you stop the number of unwanted and unplanned litters, saving lives and freeing up space for other dogs in need.
Spay and neuter surgeries also address medical issues that can arise from not having the procedures done. It is important to protect your female poodles from unplanned pregnancy and also has many health benefits for both genders, such as:
- Increased life expectancy up to 3 years
- Reduces risk of mammary gland tumors, ovarian and uterine cancer
- Halts Pyometra (uterine infection)
- Reduces the risk of testicular and prostate cancer
- Reduced desire to wander – fewer fights and car accidents
- Reduced health issues meaning fewer medical bills
- A pup becomes easier to train
- Less aggressive behavior
- Stops male spraying and marking territory
- Stops females heat
How to Prepare for the Veterinarian
The first thing to determine the appropriate age to spay or neuter your poodle. Even though poodles come in three sizes, they all need to be spayed or neutered, and their size will not affect the timing of the procedure. Most veterinarians will suggest that you get your female poodle fixed before their first heat cycle. By doing it before, it can help to avoid mammary tumors and breast cancer.
Overall, the general guidelines suggest you do either procedure between 12-20 weeks for the best results. You will have to take your pup in for pre-surgery blood work and a check-up to make sure they are healthy enough to undergo surgery.
Although it is not an overly difficult procedure, there is always a risk to your pet when an anesthetic is involved. Your veterinarian will want to know your poodle is healthy enough to proceed without subsequent health issues.
If your poodle is not crate trained, then this is something you should work on before they go to the veterinarians to be “fixed.” After surgery, your dog’s activity needs to be limited. A crate can help if you are not around to watch them all the time while they heal.
If you need to crate train, make sure you have the right size crate and all the comforts they will need for a safe and proper recovery.
The crate should be one that is large enough for your poodle to stand up and lie down in without problems with space to stretch out if needed. For their comfort, you should have:
Once you have the crate, make it comfortable with a bed and a toy or two for quiet play. Use the crate to overnight or if you are away for longer periods and think your dog needs some extra protection from too much exercise. A small bit of water will not hurt as their mouths may be dry from the anesthetic.
Create Poodle Safe Space
Use gates and items to block your poodle’s access to stairs and furniture. Getting this space ready before surgery will be helpful once your poodle is home for recovery. They will not be allowed to exert themselves once the surgery is done, so a safe space is necessary.
MyPet Plastic Extra Wide Pet Gate is a product that can limit travel space or block furniture to keep your poodle from jumping when they shouldn’t be.
Extra Chew Toys
Have some extra chew toys ready for when they come home. Chew toys will help keep them busy without a lot of motion. They can have them while they are lying around the house or a few in their crate to keep them occupied. Make sure they are size appropriate for your toy, miniature or standard poodle:
Withhold Water and Food the Night Before
Although it’s difficult, your poodle’s veterinarian will request that you do not give your dog any food or water the night before the surgery. There should be nothing after midnight until the surgery is complete. If they have either water or food, it raises the risk of vomiting and aspiration during and after surgery.
Book the Following Day off Work
Your pup will need your support and attention as they both come out of the surgery and to be taken care of the next day. They will be sore and not feeling great, so it’s important that you or someone who knows your poodle well can watch over them and make sure they do not exert themselves while they start their recovery.
As you wait for your poodle’s surgery, it can be very stressful for you as an owner. Poodles are highly intuitive and will pick up on your anxiety. It will help if you can keep your stress levels lower so you can be calm and reassuring for your pup both before and upon your arrival at the veterinarians. It will help be a comfort to your poodle if you can be calm, cool, and collected.
Spaying or neutering your poodle is important both in the control of the puppy population as well as for their ongoing health. If you are not a breeder then it is important you take this procedure seriously. It is highly beneficial for your poodle’s long-term health and can add years to their lives.