Desexed pets generally live longer, have healthier lives, and have better behaviour. We recommend desexing your pet between the age of 5 - 6 months. Read more in our client handout - 'Why should I get my pet desexed?'
Spaying Female Cats and Dogs
Spaying prevents female pets reproducing and therefore also prevents them coming into "season" or "heat". But possibly the more important reason for desexing is that female dogs and cats which experience even one heat are 200 times more likely to develop mammary cancer later in life. This rate increases with a 2nd and 3rd heat and then it stabilises. Female dogs and cats which are speyed prior to their first heat are very unlikely to ever develop mammary cancer.
Neutering Male Cats and Dogs
Entire male dogs are constantly driven by hormones to search out female dogs on heat to mate with. This leads to wandering and unwanted aggressive behaviour towards humans and other dogs. Neutering male dogs before they go through puberty at 6 months old can eliminate if not greatly reduce these unwanted behaviours. Male dogs neutered before puberty tend to make much nicer pets because they are never exposed to testosterone which begins being secreted from their testicles at puberty and is responsible for the aggressive behaviour and drive to breed. Another important reason to neuter is entire male dogs have a very high incidence of prostatic and testicular disease later in life.
If you are not planning to breed from your pet, 5-6 months old is an ideal age to get them desexed.