Our recommendations for a healthy dog


We prefer to allow a bitch to have a single period of being on heat before we spay her. This will normally ensure that she develops fully anatomically, as occasionally minor urinary tract problems can occur if they are spayed too young. Spaying a bitch is more complicated than spaying a cat. After the operation, when both her ovaries and her womb are removed, she will have a long scar on her abdomen about 10 to 12 cm long. You will have to be careful to ensure that she does not do anything that might cause damage to the stitches. In most cases we hide the sutures in the skin as this reduces the irritation.

At the time of the operation she will be given antibiotics and analgesics. We will prescribe pain-relievers for you to give for a few days after the operation. If possible it is a good idea to fit your dog with a T-shirt to prevent her licking her operation wound – we will show you how to do that. It is important to remember that after spaying some bitches will put on weight because their metabolic rate has dropped. It is important to reduce food intake after the operation, by about 5% to 10%. Care needs to be taken after her operation for about 2 weeks to allow healing of the abdominal wound to take place fully.


We would normally castrate a male dog between 8 and 12 months of age whilst the male hormones are still strongly active. This is more likely to ensure that any undesirable behaviour is controlled by the castration. When male dogs are castrated at an older age some of the traits that they might have adopted may be psychological in nature and consequently if castration is delayed then control of these undesirable traits my not occur. Care must be taken to ensure that after the operation your dog is not allowed to lick the surgical site, although generally we hide the sutures in the skin to assist in the reduction of irritation.

Both antibiotics and analgesics are given at the time of the operation and analgesic tablets are given for a few days post-operatively. If external skin sutures are present they are removed at 10-14 days after the operation. It is important to reduce food intake after the operation, by about 5% to 10%. Your dog will return to a full active life after a few days convalescence.