Sterilization is the surgical method of removing reproductive organs from animals. This procedure is done by a certified vet (only a vet!). The animals undergo a simple procedure which does not hurt because they are given anaesthesia. The only major change they experience is their hormonal processes. A neutered male, who may inherently be aggressive, may either remain the same or may have a calmer character but not vice versa. A spayed female’s character usually does not change except she stops being on heat.
WHEN TO STERILIZE YOUR PET!
- A female puppy can be spayed as young as 8 weeks old as long as she’s healthy. The traditional age is at about 6 months because usually by the 7th month they experience their first season. Medically, spaying before the first season will reduce or even eliminate the risk of mammary tumour.
- A female kitten usually goes into heat by 6 months. Depending on the breed and certain environmental factors she can reach this phase earlier too. So a kitten can be spayed as early as 8 – 12 weeks to eliminate complications at a later stage.
- A male puppy can be neutered at any time after 8 weeks provided he’s in good health. Ideally, he should be neutered before he reaches sexual maturity. The age to be neutered for a puppy largely depends on its breed and environmental conditions as some breeds may reach sexual maturity earlier than other breeds.
- A male kitten usually reaches sexual maturity by 6 months. This can vary depending on the breed. He, too, should be neutered before that. A good time can be between 8 – 16 weeks of age.
The above are general guidelines. It is advisable to consult a certified vet to guide you on the correct timing for your pet.