Bringing a Poodle puppy home is always an exciting time for a household. But it also comes with a learning curve, especially if you’re a first-time puppy owner.
Among the questions that you’re likely asking yourself about food, exercise, and potty training is “When to get a Poodle spayed?”
You should aim to spay your poodle when they turn three or four months old.
I’ll help you understand why this is such a crucial number, what to expect when they get spayed, and the benefits of doing so.
The Ideal Age for Spaying Your Poodle
Poodles typically go into heat at around 9 – 10 months of age. That said, smaller breeds usually go into heat on the early end, meaning that you need to be especially careful to spay your Toy or Miniature Poodle early.
Furthermore, while it’s uncommon, some female Poodles can go into heat as early as four months old.
You should always spay your Poodle puppy before their first heat. For this reason, I recommend spaying your Poodle between the three and four-month mark.
Nevertheless, it’s best to work with your veterinarian to determine the ideal time for your pet, as they’ll have the most accurate grasp of when your puppy might go into heat. They’ll also do a health check to ensure your puppy is a good candidate for spaying, which most are.
Spaying vs. Neutering
Some people use the word “spaying” interchangeably with neutering. While any veterinarian will understand what you mean, spaying removes a female dog’s reproductive organs, and neutering removes a male dog’s reproductive organs.
If you want to refer to spaying or neutering without using a gender, you can say “fixed” instead.
So, if you happened to arrive at this article wanting to neuter your male Poodle, you should do so later than females. Experts recommend neutering male dogs between 6 – 9 months of age.
What to Expect From Getting Your Poodle Spayed
Now that you know the answer to “When to get a Poodle spayed?” is 3 – 4 months, let’s explore what you can expect from this procedure.
Spaying your Poodle puppy involves surgery that requires general anesthesia. Although spaying is a basic procedure, you should research and read reviews on veterinarians to ensure you choose one with experience.
Once your dog is under anesthesia, your vet will open your puppy’s abdomen beneath her belly button. Then, they’ll take out her ovaries and uterus before stitching up the incision.
Nowadays, most veterinarians use dissolvable stitches, so it’s unlikely you’ll have to take your puppy back to the vet to get them removed.
Caring for Your Poodle After Surgery
In most cases, spaying a Poodle puppy is an outpatient procedure and involves a fast recovery. However, you’ll need to take extra special care of your puppy afterward, preventing them from running around. You should also only take them outside to use the restroom until the wound starts healing.
The healing process usually takes 5 – 10 days, so you should keep your puppy on a leash and away from mud until after that time.
Furthermore, your Poodle puppy mustn’t come in contact with water or soap. Since the stitches will get itchy as they heal, you’ll also need to keep an Elizabethan collar (E-collar) on your pup.
Importance of Spaying Your Poodle
Scientists disagree on the origin of dogs, but one thing is certain—humans played a part in domesticating and breeding them into the animals we know and love today. And because of that, dogs don’t survive in the wild as well as their wolf ancestors.
So, spaying your Poodle is first and foremost important because it prevents the overpopulation of unwanted dogs. As it is, many animal shelters have to turn away homeless animals.
Therefore, spaying your Poodle is a responsible step to take as a pet owner. Instead of producing more animals that need homes, you’ll free up that space for more people to hopefully rescue animals from shelters.
There are several health benefits your female Poodle puppy will benefit from by being spayed too. They include:
- Reduces risk of uterine infections
- Decreases risk of breast tumors
- Can reduce territorial marking
- Won’t undergo the heat cycle
- No urge to run away
Female Poodles often have strong urges to run away when in heat. But since they won’t go into heat if you spay them, which is a messy time for dog owners, you shouldn’t have to worry about this.
That said, keep in mind that your Poodle puppy will have the highest chance of benefiting from these points if you spay her before her first heat.
A Note on Conformation Events
If you plan to show your Poodle puppy in conformation events, the American Kennel Club requires females to have their reproductive parts in order to participate.
Therefore, this is a situation where it’s best not to spay your puppy. Furthermore, if your puppy has certain health conditions, your veterinarian may opt not to operate on them.
Risks to Be Aware Of
Surgery of any kind comes with risks, and your veterinarian will review them with you before they spay your Poodle puppy.
In addition to the standard risks that involve surgery, below are some other situations that may happen by spaying your puppy:
- Increased risk of cruciate ligament tears in larger Poodles
- Lower metabolism, increasing the risk of obesity
- Less bladder control, especially as the dog ages
- Odd behaviors and phobias if you spay too early
A cruciate ligament tear is a fancy term for issues with the knee, often due to growth-plate disruptions. Since spaying your puppy can delay when the growth plates close, it can cause their legs to grow taller than they usually would.
That said, this issue most commonly occurs in larger dogs, such as Standard Poodles, and the difference is minute. So, the verdict is still out on how much spaying truly impacts cruciate ligament tears.
Despite these potential risks, most dog owners agree that getting their Poodle puppy spayed is worth it despite these potential risks. In fact, spaying increases a dog’s lifespan by around 1.5 years.
Will My Poodle Be Sexually Frustrated?
Sexual frustration in dogs is a taboo topic, but nonetheless, something that some people worry about when they’re on the fence about spaying their Poodle puppy.
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about interfering with your Poodle’s sex drive by spaying them. That’s because Poodles mate on a hormonal basis.
Since removing your female dog’s reproductive organs during the spaying process alters her hormones, she’ll no longer have the urge to mate. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about her getting antsy or sexually frustrated.
On the contrary, spayed Poodles often have more even temperaments because they don’t go through heat cycles.
Make That Appointment
So, the next time you’re at the dog park and someone is asking, “When to get a Poodle spayed?” you should be able to give them detailed advice.
On my part, I’m glad you’re making an effort to research getting your Poodle puppy spayed. Its benefits on canine population control and health advantages for your dog are innumerable.
So, if you haven’t already, make a veterinary appointment to get your Poodle fixed.