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How Long Does It Take to Spay a Dog? What You Need to Know!

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By Misty Layne

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If you have a female puppy, then the chances are that you’ll be having her spayed at some point in the near future. You might have some questions about the process, though (particularly if you’re a first-time puppy owner), like how long does spaying take? Unlike neutering, which can be done in a few minutes, spaying takes a bit longer—anywhere between 20 to 90 minutes.

Why does spaying take so much longer? Because a female’s reproductive system is more delicate than a male’s, spaying requires removing organs via the abdominal wall, so it’s a more intricate surgery.

You might also be wondering about the right age to have your dog spayed and the risks and benefits of the surgery. You’ll find all the basics of spaying covered below, so read on!

Divider 7At What Age Should My Dog Be Spayed?

Ideally, you want to have your dog spayed till they are at least 6 months of age (and likely older than that for large breeds). Why is that? Research has shown that having dogs spayed before the age of 6 months may increase the risk of certain cancers. But each case is different and your dog might be at a higher pregnancy risk. It’s best to talk to your vet about the best age for your pup to be spayed.

Husky dog lying on vet table with doctor and owner near by
Image By: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

Spaying or neutering is only one of many vet procedures your pets may need over the course of their lives. All of those vet visits can be pricey, but you can manage the cost with the help of a good pet insurance plan. The customized options from Spot may help you keep your pet healthy at a reasonable price. 

Benefits of Spaying

Spaying your dog has the main benefit of you not becoming a grandparent to a litter of puppies, but there are other benefits as well. These include:

  • Not contributing to overpopulation
  • Reducing the risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers
  • Reducing the risk of pyometra
  • Reducing the risk of endocrine disorders (such as diabetes)
  • Getting rid of heat cycles and behaviors associated with them

Risks of Spaying

Overall, there aren’t too many risks to having your dog spayed (especially if they are a younger dog), so you’ll likely find the benefits are worth it. Some of the risks include:

  • Issues with anesthesia (more likely in older dogs or those with underlying medical conditions)
  • Hemorrhage
  • Pain after surgery
  • Re-opening of the surgical incision
  • Infection or inflammation of incision site

The chances of these occurring are quite low, and some can be avoided by keeping your pet from licking excessively at the incision site. But talk to your vet about any concerns you may have about the spaying process before it happens.

dog wearing cone
Image Credit: Micah, Pexels

Divider 7Conclusion

Having your dog spayed won’t be a long process in and of itself, as spaying typically takes 90 minutes to complete at most. Recovery will be what takes the longest time, but keeping your dog away from its incision site and calm in the days following surgery will allow it to heal more quickly.

When it comes to the age you should have your pup spayed, it’s best to talk to your vet as there are differing opinions on what age is best. Ideally, though, you’ll be aiming for your pet to be at least 6 months old.

And, though there are a few risks associated with spaying, the chances of them happening are relatively low (and you’ll probably find the benefits worth it). Still, talk to your vet about any worries you may have about the process before it happens. They can let you know in detail how they’ll be doing the procedure and what safety measures will be taken. Overall, most dogs will be perfectly fine (though feeling a bit sore) after being spayed!

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Featured Image Credit: aspen rock, Shutterstock

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Authored by

Misty Layne lives out in the woods in small-town Alabama with her two Siamese—Serafina and Jasper. She also has an array of stray cats, raccoons, and possums who like to call her front porch home. When she’s not writing about animals, you’ll find her writing poetry, stories, and film reviews (the animals are, by far, her favorite writing topic, though!). In her free time, Misty enjoys chilling with her cats, playing...Read more

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