By Carol Whaley, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Coordinator
Is there a right age to spay or neuter your companion animal? You’ll get many different answers to this question depending on whom you ask.
Most private practice veterinarians won’t schedule a spay or neuter surgery until an animal is at least 6 months old, but it’s common for shelter veterinarians to spay and neuter animals that are 2 to 3 months old.
While there’s no consensus among veterinarians about the right age to spay or neuter an animal, pediatric spaying and neutering (referring to pets aged 2 to 5 months old) has been safely performed for years.
Pediatric spaying and neutering is common practice in shelters for a variety of reasons. It allows shelters to place altered animals during a highly adoptable phase of their lives—while they’re still puppies and kittens. Before pediatric spaying and neutering became the norm, shelters adopted out unaltered puppies and kittens with the hope that their owners would have them altered when the animals were older. As pet overpopulation grew, shelter workers realized the animals would have to be altered prior to adoption.
Other benefits of pediatric spaying and neutering include a faster recovery time post-surgery and a decreased risk for developing certain cancers. This ultimately grants your pet a longer life to spend with you.
Whether purebred or mutt, offspring born intentionally or unintentionally adds to the pet overpopulation problem by burdening already strained shelters leaving fewer homes for a growing population. Cost-effective options are available for altering your pet and ending the needless euthanization of millions of American pets. There is truly is no reason to not have your pet spayed or neutered.
If you have a young (or not-so-young) animal at home, please call Animal Friends’ Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Program at 1.800.SPAY.PGH to discuss affordable spay/neuter options for your pet.
As a reminder, June is also "Smitten Season" at Animal Friends! That means “priceless” cat adoptions from June 1-30; $10 neuter surgeries for male cats (Appointments are limited, so please apply here beginning June 1); and specials on cat treats, toys, and other supplies plus raffles for cat lovers