When you get a dog, one of the first things you need to know is whether they have been neutered.
Typically neutering is done when they are about 6-9 months of age, but maybe you are considering adopting an older non-neutered dog.
Which then brings up the question, “can you neuter an older dog”?
So, let’s break it all down so you know what to expect if you do decide to neuter your older dog.
Can You Neuter An Older Dog?
Yes, an older can be neutered and it is recommended to do so in most cases.
As long as your dog is strong and healthy it would be beneficial to have them neutered for many reasons as you will see below.
The only reason a veterinarian may decide your dog should not be neutered is if they are preventing an illness that may put them at risk.
Why Neutering Your Older Dog Is Important
You may already know that neutering your dog is beneficial for controlling the animal population.
But there are other reasons to neuter your dogs as well.
These include preventing a variety of cancers, lessening the risk of Pyometra and helping to reduce behavioral issues.
Many pet parents find major improvements, especially in male dogs, with aggression issues.
Intact males can tend to be very aggressive in their attempts to find females in heat.
Getting them neutered will remove that urge and lessen their aggression.
80%of dogs that are hit by cars are unaltered males searching for mates.
If you are looking to change other behaviors that a neuter will not help with, you can take a look at our 11 tips for training a rescue dog.
Although there might be a very small chance of complications from surgery, the benefits of being neutered far outweigh the risks.
Cancer veterinarian Dr. Sue created this great video talking about the pros and cons of actually waiting to neuter your dog.
Some interesting takes on this controversial topic.
Cons Of Neutering Older Dogs
Neutering a dog that is older is still recommended, but there may be some side effects and risks attached.
Although these risks and side effects are rare, it is our job to make you aware of them.
Older dogs will take longer to recover.
A dog that gets neutered when they are older may require extra healing time and a little more assistance with their day to day activities like eating, going outside, or up and down the stairs.
Most dogs recover from the surgery in about 2 weeks as long as they have taken the proper precautions needed to recover.
The more active a dog is, the longer the recovery time is, so you need to make sure you keep your dog calm and activity free.
Older dogs with active lifestyles can be at risk from infections from opening the wounds if they play too hard too soon.
I cannot stress the “keep them calm” aspect enough.
Can You Neuter Senior Dogs
At a certain point your dog will be considered a “senior”.
This will also depend on your dogs breed. A chihuahua may be considered a senior at 10 years old, while a Great Dane may be considered a senior at 7 years old.
You can neuter senior dogs, but they may require some testing first to ensure they are healthy enough.
There might be a need for blood work and a general wellness check up, and then a surgery can be scheduled if your dog is healthy.
Senior dogs may take longer to recover from a neuter than even an older dog, so you will need to ensure you can care for you pet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it OK to neuter an older dog?
If your veterinarian says your dog is healthy enough to undergo surgery, then yes it is OK to neuter an older dog. Age is less of a factor than your dog’s current health.
Can I neuter a 10 year old dog?
Yes! Your 10, 11, 12, even 13 year old dog can be neutered as long as your veterinarian deems them healthy enough.
Will neutering my dog calm them down?
While many dogs report improvements in the calmness and aggression in their dogs, neutering does not guarantee improvement. If neutering your dog does not calm them down you may want to work with a trainer or behaviorist to find additional reasons your dog has these behaviors.
So, if you are considering neutering an older dog, talk to your vet, make sure your pet is healthy and then get it scheduled.
Those couple of weeks of discomfort will be so worth it for your dog in the long run.