Your family has a new addition: a furry, joyful, and playful friend. And like with other members of the family, you only want the best for them. Whether you have a Standard Poodle or a couple of Miniature Poodles, they are going to provide the family with lots of fun and happy memories. However, once the main necessities are in place—a leash and collar, water and food bowls, a crate, shampoo and, of course, high-quality puppy food—it’s time to think of the future.
Poodles, like most dogs, are prone to disease and health issues, such as Von Willebrand’s disease, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, dental disease, hair loss, and other health problems. To reduce any risk, using high-quality pet food in your dog’s diet and ensuring lots of exercise will help. However, one area that is often overlooked by pet owners—including both dogs and cats—is early neutering or spaying of your pet. Let’s first clear the confusion when it comes to the difference between spaying and neutering. It’s actually very simple. They are both sterilization procedures: you spay a female dog and neuter a male dog. However, before dashing off to one of the nearest spay and neuter clinics, read on to find out more.
Why Spay or Neuter?
Spaying or neutering your dog may seem drastic, but it is an important part of owning a pet. One of the reasons for performing such a procedure is pet overpopulation. This is more than a valid reason, as just the thought of euthanizing small puppies because some shelters don’t have the means to handle them, which brings shivers to the spine and horrific scenes to the mind. Keeping a very close eye on your fluffy friend, however, could solve this problem. It’s the fact that this procedure brings many health benefits to your Poodle that causes the need to pay extra attention to the subject.
The Obvious and Less Obvious Benefits
There are plenty of benefits. The obvious one for your new baby girl is that any chance of an unwanted pregnancy is totally eliminated, meaning there is zero chance of a house full of puppies. A less obvious benefit, but one that is much more important, is that the chance of ovarian and uterine cancer is also eliminated. Yes, eliminated! As spaying is nothing but the removal of the Poodle’s reproductive organs, any linked cancer types simply cannot possibly develop. More good news is that the option of dealing with mammary tumors is drastically reduced depending on when it is performed.
The same goes for boys. The chance of testicular cancer is eliminated while the option of dealing with prostate issues down the line is drastically reduced. Basically, by having your Poodle spayed or neutered, you are potentially providing them with a longer and healthier life. These health benefits are already good enough reasons to start giving spaying and neutering some serious thought. That aside, there are a few behavioral issues that will be eliminated to make life with your adorable pet more enjoyable. Regular worries that come with the heat cycle, such as the right diapers, getting too aggressive with other dogs, or running away from home in the heat of the moment will all be needless. Both of these procedures should also take care of their stinky territory marking habits. Not a big issue, but still annoying if it happens.
What about the Risks?
If your Poodle is young and healthy, there is not much to worry about. Keeping them still and peaceful after surgery might be your biggest challenge. If you are not very successful at this, especially if your Poodle goes on to lick and chew the wound, then that’s when the most common complications will occur.
These boil down to inflammation of the wound, an opening of the wound, bleeding, and swelling. Using the “cone of shame” to stop your pet from reaching the incision is very effective but also quite uncomfortable for the Poodle. A better option would be a BiteNot collar.
Another known risk for female Poodles is bladder issues. Waiting until at least three months should mitigate this risk and as her first heat won’t occur before six months anyway, even waiting until four or five months is a good idea. Some other issues can arise while researching the topic, but most of them turn out to be fiction.
- Males will lose their stamina.There is no evidence to support such a claim.
- Your graceful and beautiful pet will become fat and lazy. Their weight depends on the amount of food and exercise they receive and nothing else.
- Males will become frustrated, as they are not able to mate. In truth, they actually will not have the impulse to mate anymore.
What Is the Best Time to Have Your Poodles Spayed or Neutered?
The general recommendation is before the first heat cycle.One of the main reasons for this is a much less chance of developing breast cancer. It seems that most veterinarians agree that there is no obstacle for doing the procedure at a very early age of three months, as long as the pup weighs at least two pounds.
The size of your Poodle plays a significant role in determining the right time. The tendency is for larger dogs to mature later, so the three-month mark might be fine for a Toy Poodle, but still too early for the standard one. If growth plate issues are on your mind, then waiting until six to nine months would be a safe option. What is indisputable, however, is that a detailed conversation with your veterinarian on the subject is invaluable.
Preparing for the Procedure and for Post-procedure Care
- Movement restriction. In order to avoid the most common complications, it is important to restrict the movement of your Poodle. A good way to do that when you are not around is using a crate. If your pet is not used to a crate, make sure to familiarize your pup with it before the procedure. For stopping it accessing certain unsafe areas in this period (such as stairs), a good idea would be to use gates.
- Avoid food and water. Move the food and water bowls as both are not allowed night before the procedure.
- Control your emotions. Yes, your own emotions, as your pet feeds off your energy and can easily sense if you are anxious. You feeling at ease is the best thing you can do to make your poodle feel relaxed too.
Female poodles typically need around ten days of rest after the procedure. Males recover much faster and they will be ready to happily run around after just three days. Still, their activity should be restricted for about two weeks in order to allow the incisions to heal properly.
Knowing what awaits your new family member if you decide to go ahead with the procedure, will make the decision easier. You might want to give your pet a cuddle, a treat, or have some play time before you go ahead and make the final call.