It is important to keep up on all of the health issues that may affect your Labrador Retriever.
You need to take them out for walks to make sure that they get their exercise, feed them the right types of food for good nutrition, and spend time taking them to the vet to ensure that any potential health issues are caught as soon as possible.
But one thing that all owners of Labs need to consider is when they should spay their Lab.
When Should A Labrador Retriever Be Spayed?
Most experts agree that the right time to spay a Labrador Retriever is when they are between 9 to 15 months. By 9 months, they should have reached puberty and be mostly fully grown. Before 15 months old helps reduce the risks of other health issues and unaltered-dog management.
Spaying your Lab can have a lot of good benefits for the dog and may keep them healthier than ever before.
But there are also some risks that come with this too.
Let’s take a look at the best time to spay your Lab to see when you should get this done.
How To Know When To Spay Your Lab
When you bring home a Labrador Retriever, you need to spend some time figuring out when to get some of the important health concerns taken care of to help this dog.
There are a lot of items that come on the list, but one of the main decisions that you can consider is when you should spay the Labrador Retriever.
The best time to spay the Lab is when they have reached puberty.
This ensures that you do not do it too early and cause too many issues with the dog.
Most Labs are going to reach this age when they are nine months old, but there are some exceptions to this.
Your vet will be able to check with the dog to make sure that the puberty is done and the dog is ready to go through this process too.
It is often best to get the spaying done by the time the dog is 15 months.
This keeps them young enough to go through the procedure without a lot of issues, while making sure that they do not get too old and run into other complications along the way.
Your vet can set up a good time to get this done.
It is possible to spay the Lab when they are older than 15 months and most dogs who have this happen will be just fine, but it is still a good idea to do it a little earlier.
Why Should I Spay My Labrador Retriever?
Many pet owners wonder why they should spay their dog in the first place.
Apart from safety and making sure that the dog is not going to have unwanted or unintended puppies, there are other health and behavioral benefits that come with spaying the Lab at the right time.
Some of these include:
Most vets recommend that you spay your dog to help with any behavioral issues.
This is more likely to happen with male Labs if you are not careful, but there are times when the issues will show up with female Labs as well.
If they are aggressive or trying to dominate around the home, it may be a good idea to work through this with the help of spaying.
Helping Maintain Their Health
Many vets will agree that spaying your dog is a good way to help maintain their health.
This is actually a good way to help elongate the life of the dog and keep them around for much longer.
When you spay the dog, you will cut down on the chances that certain cancers and other health conditions are going to affect your dog.
In fact, there are a number of illnesses and diseases that you can prevent with the process of spaying and these include:
- Pyometra: This is an infection of the uterus.
- Testicular cancer and prostate cancer in males.
- Uterine cancers and ovarian cancers in females.
With spaying, you will be able to prevent some of the illnesses above and will be able to help your dog live for longer.
It is estimated that by spaying your female Lab, you will be able to prolong their life by up to 26%.
Controlling the Pet Population
Even if you do not intend for your female lab to get pregnant, it is still a possibility if you do not spay them.
And many people agree that spaying the dog is much better than adding to the pet population and having the puppies get hurt.
An intact female is able to have a potential 70 puppies during their prime breeding years, which is going to take place over six years.
And while most females are not going to actually have that many, if you do not spay them, there is the potential that this will happen.
If you do plan to have puppies, you need to make a plan and then go through with it, with the help of the vet.
When you are done having the litters you want, it is time to spay the dog and keep them safe.
Can I Spay or Neuter an Older Lab?
As we mentioned before, it is often best to spay your Lab when they are between 9 and 15 months old.
This is a good time to help get them spayed because they are done with puberty and ready to live as an adult and can have puppies, but not too old to cause damage as well.
This can lead some pet owners to wonder whether they should spay a Lab who is a little older.
It is always best if the pet owner is able to spay the Lab as soon as they can.
But if something happens or you get a dog who is older and has not been spayed, you can still get the process done.
It can still help with the health of the dog and reduce their health risks.
However, spaying may not be as effective for the dog if they have already been bred a few times.
Fixing an adult dog may not prove to be the best fix that you wanted for some of the behavioral issues of the dog like it could with a younger dog.
As soon as the hormones started flowing through the dog during the first heat, spaying them is not going to be able to make much of a difference.
Before you decide to spay an older Lab, it is a good idea to talk with the vet to see what they say.
They will be able to give you some recommendations on how to take care of the dog and will discuss whether this is a good idea for your dog or not.
Are There Risks with Spaying My Dog?
While there are a lot of benefits that come with spaying your dog, there are also some risks that you need to be aware of.
This is a surgery and there are some complications that will come up, especially if you are not careful about the age when the dog gets it done.
There are also some risk factors that come with spaying your dog in terms of causing them to have bad reactions or issues with their hormones as well.
If you want to breed the dog, then it is not a good idea to spay them either.
Before you decide that it is time to spay the Lab, no matter what their age is, you need to take some time to explore whether it is a good idea or not.
Do you have plans to breed the dog and have puppies?
Are you worried about the surgery and how that is going to affect the dog?
Is there some health issues that could factor in?
While spaying is a safe option for most dogs, it is still a good idea to do your research and make sure that the dog is going to be safe.
Choosing to Spay Your Labrador Retriever
The decision to spay your Labrador Retriever is a personal one and each pet owner is going to need to make the decision based on what they think is the best idea for them.
For some, it may not be worth the risks or they may choose that they want their dog to have some puppies later on.
But for others, having the peace of mind of having the dog spayed can make a big difference.
Discuss both options with your vet to see what is best for your Lab.