Neutering is carried out for a variety of reasons including health-related issues, reproduction control and others.

For example "heat", behavioural / psychological reasons such as territory marking and dominance and aggression problems. It involves removing the ovaries and womb from females (spaying) and the testicles from males (castration). Both are surgical procedures carried out under general anaesthetic.

If you visit any animal re-homing centre, the chances are it will be overflowing with the results of unwanted pregnancies. Animals reach sexual maturity at an early age and will mate with blood relatives unless prevented from doing so. If a litter of puppies was never your plan when you welcomed your pet into your home, then the simple and most humane answer is to have your pet neutered.

Neutering involves the removal of the sex organs, testicles in males and ovaries +/- uterus in females – in key hole spays, the uterus is left in place. This prevents your pet’s ability to reproduce and in females will also stop their seasons.

Neutering is a relatively simple procedure and is usually carried out in a day, with your pet able to go home the same day. While the recovery time varies between gender and species, usually animals are fully recovered within 10 days of their operation.

Timing is of the essence as there are restrictions around when a female can be operated on in relation to their last season. Animal charities and re-homing centres all recommend you have your pet neutered.

Neutering can also bring some behavioural benefits to your dog, particularly in boisterous males. Many people may not realise that neutering also has some health benefits for your pet, particularly in later life, and can prevent potentially fatal infections and even some cancers.

It’s important to remember that every pet is different and therefore the advice we give about neutering can vary between pets. That’s why we offer free pre-neutering consults with our nurses who, along with our vets, are able to tailor the advice specifically to your pet.