Cats are usually spayed or neutered very young; sometimes as early as 8 weeks of age. For dogs that will be less than 45 pounds, we recommend spaying at 5-6 months of age (before the first heat cycle occurs) and neutering at around 6 months of age.
Larger dogs should be neutered later, preferably after growth stops between 9 and 15 months. This may decrease the risk of some cancers and some bone, ligament, and joint problems that are more common in larger breeds.
Determining the best age for spaying large-breed dogs is a decision that should be made with input from your veterinarian. Spaying at a later age can include some risk factors like an increased risk of mammary cancers and unwanted litters. Spaying at an earlier age, however, can increase the risk of other cancers and bone/joint/ligament issues.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits and risks of sterilization for your pet, simply send us a message in the Modern animal app or ask a Modern Animal doctor during your next visit.