Corgi owners love their dogs and for good reason. They are playful, affectionate, and smart animals that make excellent house dogs. They are natural-born herders that are full of energy and enthusiasm. They are small, compact dogs, but they are quite athletic with very agreeable personalities.
Most dogs are spayed or neutered between the ages of six months to a year. Corgi owners become very attached to their dogs and may worry that spaying or neutering their corgis may change their wonderful personalities. There is little chance that this treatment will drastically alter their dog’s unique character. What sterilization does is helps the animals become less aggressive, leave fewer markings in the home (for males) and of course, prevents unwanted litters. The age at which you decide to spay or neuter your corgi is important, however. It is possible to have the procedure done too early, and having it done too late limits the associated health benefits.
The following article answers many of the questions corgi owners have about the proper time to have their dogs fixed. It also explains the possible risks and health benefits, how to get your corgi ready for the surgery, and how to take care of them after the procedure.
The Best Age to Spay/Neuter Your Corgi (Male and Female )
Spaying is when the female dog’s reproductive organs are removed and neutering is when the male’s reproductive organs are removed. For the female corgi, this means the ovaries and uterus are taken out in a procedure known as an ovariohysterectomy. For the male corgi, both testicles are removed in a procedure known as castration.
There has been a lot of debate about when the best age to spay and neuter dogs is. One school of thought suggests that it is never too early and that spaying can be done as early as two months. More recently vets have recommended waiting until the dog’s hormones have a chance to develop. Waiting until six months or later gives the dog a chance to develop physically first.
Generally, the age that most dogs get spayed and neutered is when the puppy is between six months and one year old. This is before the dog reaches its sexual maturity. Having the surgery performed as early as four months has become more common in recent years.
For owners who are considering entering their dogs into performance competitions, they may want to consider waiting a little longer to allow the puppy to develop physically before having the surgery. Your vet or dog breeder can advise you if this is the case. In shelters, puppies are sometimes sterilized as early as eight weeks making them more attractive to their adoptive parents. This is beyond the control of the adoptive parents, of course.
Health Benefits of Spaying/Neutering Your Corgi
The most obvious benefit to spaying or neutering your corgi is to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but there are health benefits to sterilization as well.
Spaying a female corgi can prevent her from developing breast cancer and uterine infections and helps protect against other types of disease as well. Spaying allows them to live longer which for a corgi is up to 15 years.
Neutering a male corgi protects him against getting testicular cancer. It also makes the dog less aggressive and will tamp down on their instinct to “mark” their territory (pee) in the home. It should also eliminate negative behaviors such as “humping”.
Some dog owners believe that sterilization makes their dogs less active. An inactive dog may soon become obese which is a concern for many dog owners. Sterilization does not cause an animal to become fat, however. Obesity in dogs, just as in humans, is a result of a poor diet and lack of exercise does. That is up to the owner to monitor.
Preventing unwanted pregnancies benefits all dogs, as the number of puppies in animal shelters is too high in the U.S. Decreasing unwanted liters keeps the population in check and ensures that more dogs find loving homes.
Risks Associated with Spaying/Neutering Too Early or Too Late
There are risks to spaying a female dog too early. The dog must be allowed to develop her hormones before the sterilization procedure is performed.
She should be allowed to go through one heat cycle. Your vet can advise you on when the right time is, but spaying too early puts the animal at risk of developing hip dysplasia and bone cancer. Torn ligaments and urinary incontinence can also develop in spaying that is performed too early in the puppy’s life. Male dogs are also at a higher risk of hip dysplasia when neutered too early.
It is never too late to spay a corgi but the risks of getting pregnant are reduced in older dogs. The benefits of preventing disease also decrease as the dog ages so, unless you adopt a rescue dog that has not been sterilized, there is no reason not to spay or neuter your animals when they are still a puppies.
Preparing Your Corgi Before Surgery
Many pet owners are anxious whenever their animals undergo a surgical procedure. There are some things you can do at home to prepare them for their spaying or neutering.
Hopefully, you have done crate training with your corgi as soon as you brought them home for the first time. If not, now is a good time as your corgi’s activity will need to be limited in the days following the procedure. They will need to be confined for their own health and safety so they should get comfortable spending time in their crate. When outside of the crate, make sure you’ve created a space away from furniture they will want to jump up on and stairs they will want to climb.
Your corgi should be kept out of the water post-surgery. That means no swimming and no bathing so it’s a good idea to give your dog one last bath before the surgery. Complete necessary paperwork at the vet’s office before you bring your corgi in. This will help limit their anxiety prior to their visit. Your vet should have all of your dog’s records on file, but if they are new to the medical facility, be sure to inform them of all medication your corgi takes as well as any recent illness or loss of appetite. Your corgi should also be current with all of their vaccinations.
Do not feed your dog after 9 pm the evening before and no food the morning of the procedure. If your corgi somehow manages to get a hold of food, inform your vet. Making sure there’s no food in the dog’s stomach helps prevent them from vomiting and possibly asphyxiating during surgery. Owners should also remain calm as your corgi can sense anxiety in their owners and this will stress them out as well. Make them feel as comfortable as possible.
Taking Care of Your Corgi after Surgery
Dogs will typically spend the night at the animal hospital after surgery so they can be monitored by medical staff.
It is possible that your vet may allow your corgi to go home the same day that the surgery has been performed. Regardless of when you can bring your corgi home, it will be necessary to crate them for the entire day after surgery.
Some owners may find this cruel, but the animal will be drowsy and disoriented and may not resist much. This is for the safety of the dog as this is a critical part of the healing process. Make your corgi comfortable in the crate with warm blankets, their favorite toy, and something to chew on.
Do not wash the incision. The stitches should dissolve on their own, but moisture will speed up the process and cause them to dissolve before it is time. Make sure it stays dry and check it often. A little bleeding, swelling or redness is not uncommon, but if you are concerned contact your veterinarian.
It is important during this time to keep a close eye on your dog, follow your vet’s instructions and administer pet pain medication as instructed. Keep the animal hospital’s or your vet’s phone number handy in case of an emergency.
Post Spay and Neuter Surgery Care:
The most important thing you can do for your corgi after their sterilization surgery is to make them as comfortable as possible.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends that owners keep their dogs inside during recovery. They should also be kept apart from other household pets who may want to play with them. The dog should not be allowed to jump up on furniture or run around the house or yard for two weeks after their surgery.
Not all dogs require the same amount of recovery time so your vet can give you a better idea of the healing time of your corgi.
Dogs may not like it, but a cone will be needed to prevent them from licking the incision site. This site should also be inspected every day to make sure it is healing properly. Your corgi may love this one: no baths for at least 10 days after surgery. If you notice any changes in your dog, such as loss of appetite, listlessness, or diarrhea and vomiting, call your vet right away.
Ask your vet about pet pain medication to help your corgi during the recovery period. And remember, just because your dog may appear full of energy and ready to start playing again in the days after their surgery, you need to resist and limit activity for the duration of the recovery process.