Veterinarians recommend that all female pets be spayed. Spaying is a medical procedure performed to render a pet sterile. During the operation, your vet will remove the ovaries and uterus of your pet. Spaying female animals can prevent unwanted puppies and kittens from entering the world. It can also protect your pet against cervical, breast, and ovarian cancers. Spaying is best done when your pet is still young, but the operation can be performed at almost any time. Here are some ways you can give your pet the best spaying experience:
1. Schedule the operation before your pet's first heat
Dogs and cats are not fertile at all times. They go through periods of heat, which is a time of fertility. Most dogs experience their first heat by the time they are six months old, according to the American Kennel Club. Cats experience their first heat at around the same time. The actual age of first heat can be older or younger, depending on the size, weight, and condition of your pet. It's better to get your pet spayed sooner rather than later before your pet goes into heat. Pets can be spayed as soon as they turn eight weeks old, so schedule the operation accordingly.
2. Make sure your pet is vaccinated
Vaccines protect your pet from catching harmful diseases. They're especially important for puppies and kittens who don't have fully developed immune systems. Before scheduling your pet's spay appointment, make sure they're up to date on their vaccinations. Current vaccinations can prevent your pet from developing an infection after their surgery.
3. Follow your vet's guidelines for offering food and water
In general, your vet will want to make sure your pet's stomach is as empty as possible before the operation. An empty stomach will reduce the likelihood of chest infections in case your pet vomits during the operation. However, older pets can safely fast for longer than young pets. If your pet is an adult, your vet may recommend you remove their food and water the night before the surgery. Young pets may be able to eat and drink up until the morning of the surgery. Since guidelines vary, listen to your vet's advice.
4. Give your pet a safe, comfortable place to recuperate
Your pet will probably spend the night at the veterinarian's office after their spaying surgery is complete. When you pick your pet up the next day, they may be tired or more subdued than usual. The effects of general anesthesia can take some time to wear off. Give your pet a comfortable place to rest until they're feeling better.
For more on spaying, reach out to a veterinarian in your area.