Best Age to Neuter a Shiba Inu (Explained and Helpful Guide)

Best Age to Neuter a Shiba Inu

Traditionally, male puppies are neutered between 6-9 months. Female puppies should be spayed before their first heat, which can occur as early as 6 months.

Neutering offers significant benefits to your Shiba Inu. However, incorrect neutering methods can harm your Shiba Inu. You need to understand several key points to ensure a smooth transition for your Shiba Inu. What should you do before neutering your Shiba Inu? What should you do after the surgery to improve the wound healing? What food and water regimen is ideal for your Shiba Inu after neutering/spaying?

Best Age to Neuter a Shiba Inu

Neutering, or castration, means surgically removing a male dog’s testicles.

Veterinarians generally agree that the best age to neuter a Shiba Inu is between 6 and 9 months. However, this does not apply to all cases. Several factors can influence this timing:

  • Physical Maturity: Each Shiba Inu grows at a different speed.Your vet can tell if your pup is ready for neutering.
  • Behavioral Considerations: Neutering early can change some behaviors. If your pup shows aggression or tries to dominate, talk about this with your vet.
  • Health Factors: If your pup has health issues, it may need a different schedule for neutering.

Best Age to Spay a Shiba Inu

Spaying is the surgical removal of a female dog’s reproductive organs. This procedure is a significant step in your Shiba Inu’s life, so choosing the right time is crucial.

Vets generally recommend spaying Shiba Inus between 6 and 9 months of age. This timeframe is considered ideal because:

  • Spaying your Shiba Inu before its first heat cycle can greatly benefit its health, such as by lowering the risk of mammary cancer.
  • By 6 to 9 months, most Shiba Inus reach the right physical development level for the surgery.

Should You Spay or Neuter Your Shiba Inu?

Deciding to sterilize your Shiba Inu is a personal choice and there is no single correct answer.

  • Consult a Vet: Your vet can provide advice tailored to your dog’s health and needs.
  • Consider Your Lifestyle: Consider if you are ready to handle the responsibilities that come with an unneutered/unspayed dog.”
  • Personal Circumstances: Assess if you can provide the necessary care and attention your dog will need during and after the surgery.

Benefits for Neutering/Spaying

Reduces Behaviors Like Territory Marking and Leg-shifting

Hormones power most habits in Shiba Inus (male or female). We have seen that Shiba Inus have a penchant for marking their territories.

This is done by lifting their legs when they pee. Intriguingly, a Shiba Inu tends to leave a favorable impression on the opposite sex when it sprays its urine high.

No doubt, this can be upsetting if done indoors as it is an obvious menace. Neutering can reduce this habit, being hormonally inspired. It makes sense neutering your Shiba Inu before they start such leg shifting behavior.

If you wait till a year or two before you neuter your Shiba Inu (by that time it would have started marking territories), then it would be unlikely for the Shiba Inu to stop that behavior even after neutering.

Reduces Health Vulnerabilities

No one enjoys his dog sick, right? One of the predominant advantages of neutering your Shiba Inu is reducing the risks of health diseases.

Most intact dogs are very vulnerable to enlarged prostates. This manifests in your Shiba Inu struggling to urinate or unusual bowel movements.

All these health risks can be significantly reduced when you neuter/spay your Shiba Inu. For male Shiba Inus, neutering reduces the possibilities of prostate infections and prostate cysts. For female Shiba Inus, spaying reduces the risks of ovarian tumors and uterine cancer.

Neutered Shiba Inus are Less Aggressive 

The chances are high that your Shiba Inu will display heightened levels of aggression or domination if unneutered. They will readily jump into brawls with other dogs or destroy your home.

Do you know that a male Shiba Inu can smell a female Shiba Inu that is in heat as far as 5 miles away? Yes, a female Shiba Inu in heat releases a pheromone smell that can easily be picked up by males miles away. Your male Shiba Inu would do just anything to get to such a female to mate.

You would notice overexcited behaviors from your Shiba Inu like pacing about, jumping at stuffed animals, and whining. They can get violent and troublesome, resorting to biting in this hormone-driven craze.

Also, if it is not spayed, there is a solid possibility of your female getting aggressive or escaping to breed in such heat windows. In all, when your Shiba Inu is spayed or neutered, you can have peace that a huge chunk of the destructive behaviors in your Shiba Inu will be eradicated.

Refocuses the Energies of Your Shiba Inu

With that obsessive sex drive eliminated by neutering/spacing, your Shiba Inu will refocus all the energy (it would supposedly expend on reproduction and mating) to you. Your Shiba Inu will be less aggressive, get into far fewer fights, and will not be on the eager lookout for mating partners.

Your dog will then give you (and your family) more loyalty and attention. Don’t you like it this way?

Cons to Neutering/Spaying

It Could Disrupt the Process of Maturation

We have noticed that neutered/spayed Shiba Inus don’t mature as those that are intact. To avoid this disruption, make sure to consult your veterinarian if neutering/spacing is specifically beneficial for your Shiba Inu.

Take note that neutering is not ideal for all Shiba Inus. It works excellently for some, while some Shiba Inus are better off not being neutered/spayed at all.

Chances of Urinary Incontinence in Your Shiba Inu

While this is not common, neutering your Shiba Inu can lead to urinary incontinence. This condition is most likely to occur when the neutering surgery is executed prior to the full development of the Shiba Inu’s bladder.

This, therefore, increases the possibility of the bladder leaking with your Shiba Inu aging due to the bladder muscles being not as strong as normal.

However, your Shiba Inu shouldn’t be suffering this condition if you neuter it around 6 months.

Comes with Health Risks

Yes, we pointed out that neutering or spaying your Shiba dog reduces its vulnerability to health conditions. Yet, this same neutering exposes it to other conditions.

A neutered Shiba Inu could have heightened risks of suffering conditions like hypothyroidism, osteosarcoma, and even cognitive impairments.

However, the good news is that these health conditions are extremely rare among neutered Shiba Inus.

Is the Surgery Painful?

No, the surgical process is not painful for your Shiba Inu. This is because the dog will be fully anesthetized so that they are numb to the pain.

However, there are cases your Shiba Inu will experience discomfort. In all, there isn’t significant physical harm to be suffered by your Shiba Inu from spaying/neutering.

What Should You Do Before Surgery?

Your veterinarian will layout the therapy process for you when neutering your Shiba Inu. He will give you specific instructions on how you should feed your Shiba Inu prior to the surgery. Commonly, it is recommended that you shouldn’t feed your Shiba Inu at least 8 hours, leading to the neutering surgery.

This span is aimed at reducing the possible nauseating effect that can result from the anesthesia. Nonetheless, there is no problem if your Shiba Inu drinks water before the surgery. 

Your veterinarian should also run through the medical history of your Shiba Inu before the surgery. He would factor in any underlying health condition or if there are current medications for your Shiba Inu. The purpose is to ensure that your Shiba Inu is healthy enough for the surgical process.

How to Care for Your Shiba Inu After Surgery?

After the surgery, there are things you should do to make the transition (from an intact dog to a neutered dog) easier for your Shiba Inu.

Here, we will examine how you should feed it and the water rations it should drink. Also, how would you help the wound healing?

Food and Water

Your Shiba Inu is likely to be hungry after the surgery. This is because most veterinarians will stipulate that you should not feed your Shiba Inu 8 hours before the surgery. The reason behind this is the sedation and muscle relaxants that would be offered to them during surgery.

We recommend that you wait a bit for the effects of the anesthetics to reduce before you get to feed your Shiba Inu. Also, these drugs applied in the course of the surgery can also affect the gastric motility of your dog. Giving your dog a brief stay-away from food will help all these effects decline.

After this span, you can feed your Shiba Inu. You can’t feed it its usual quantities just yet. It is advisable to feed your Shiba Inu half of its normal ration. So if you usually feed your dog 3 cups per meal, you should be reducing it to 1½ cups in the first meal after the neutering surgery.

It will be better to feed your Shiba Inu meals rich in protein. They should be canned or wet as they would be easier (based on softer consistency) on the Shiba Inu, being that it is recovering from the surgery.

Your Shiba Inu will most likely be tired after the surgery, so such foods that save it energy (expended on chewing dryer foods) are more suiting. You can also resort to dog treats that are also rich in proteins if you notice that your Shiba Inu is struggling to take its normal food.

There are cases where your dog will refuse to eat anything when you get home. There is no need to force the meal on the dog. It is best to wait to the next day as by then it would have recovered better from the direct effects of the drugs and stress of the surgery.

Your Shiba Inu shouldn’t drink excessively after the surgery. When you get home after the surgery, give your Shiba a small quantity of water. Drinking too much at once after the neutering surgery can cause it to vomit.

You can revert to the normal quantities you feed your Shiba Inu 24 hours after the surgery. By now, the appetite of your Shiba Inu should have recovered.

If you notice that your Shiba Inu is struggling to feed 48 hours after the surgery, then all is no longer well. You can then reach out to a veterinarian.

Wound Recovery

What can you do to improve the healing process of the surgical wounds? You can use a dog cone to protect the site of the incision. Typically, your Shiba Inu could chew on the wound, bite it, or lick it in a bid to alleviate the symptoms that come with it. Sadly, this can worsen things.

This is where a dog cone becomes a valuable asset. Such dog cone can be placed around the neck of your Shiba Inu to prevent these. A dog cone looks more like an inverted lampshade.

You can get a dog cone from a pet shop, although most veterinarians will give you this cone after the surgery. A stiff collar is fine, although a softer collar is preferable to enhance the flexibility, making it easier for your Shiba Inu to reach its water and food.

Following the surgery, you can wear this dog cone on your Shiba Inu for about a week. This sustains the sutures, downsizing the risk of reinfection. By preventing your Shiba Inu from biting, licking, or biting the surgical incision, it enables the wound to heal faster.

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