Best Age to Spay/Neuter a Pomeranian (Explained)

Best Age to Spay/Neuter a Pomeranian

Most experts agree that the best age to spay/neuter your Pomeranian is between the ages of 4 to 9 months. The earlier you get it done and over with, the better. The reason being that Pomeranians are early bloomers. They grow fast and reach puberty much quicker than other breeds. So you’d want to get this out of the way as soon as you can.

Spaying or neutering your pet is a delicate process. So how would you go about dealing with this problem and how do you ensure your Pomeranian doesn’t get scarred for life in the process?

Recommended Age for Spaying Female Pomeranians

Most veterinarians advise spaying Pomeranians when they are 6-12 months old. However, some recommend waiting until after their first heat cycle, usually around 9 months old.

Before First Heat

  • Spaying before the first heat has several health benefits. It removes the risk of pyometra, a uterine infection, significantly lowers the chance of mammary cancer, and avoids unintended litters.
  • A possible side effect is a higher risk of incontinence after spaying.
  • Veterinarians generally permit spaying Pomeranians starting at 6 months of age.

After First Heat

  • Waiting until after the first heat allows your dog to fully mature before being spayed.
  • Delaying spaying until after the first heat helps preserve maternal behaviors in your dog, such as nursing.
  • On average, a dog’s heat cycles begin at around 9 months of age.
  • Spaying before the first heat eliminates the high risk of pregnancy that comes during heat cycles.

Many veterinarians advise spaying a dog after they are 6 months old but before their first heat, typically around 8-9 months.

Ideal Age Range for Neutering Male Pomeranians

Most vets recommend neutering between 5-14 months old, though the exact timing depends on your preferences.

Under 6 Months

  • Neutering under 6 months old can provide early health benefits, such as reducing the risk of certain cancers.
  • However, there’s a potential increased risk of orthopedic issues if neutered too early.
  • Neutering under 6 months may also hinder some normal testosterone-related development.

6-14 Months

  • Neutering between 6-14 months is ideal for balancing health benefits and developmental needs.
  • Reduces male-specific behaviors like roaming and marking.
  • Most vets recommend fixing between 6-14 months.

Over 14 Months

  • Waiting over 14 months to neuter increases the likelihood of frustrating testosterone-driven behaviors in male Pomeranians.
  • Neutering after 14 months allows for full physical and social maturity before the procedure.
  • However, waiting this long continues the risks of testicular cancer and other health issues.

Health Benefits of Spaying/Neutering Your Pomeranian

Deciding to spay or neuter your Pomeranian comes with some major health perks that can dramatically improve quality of life as well as longevity.

For Females

  • Spaying almost completely removes the risk of a dangerous uterine infection called pyometra, which often needs emergency surgery.
  • Reduces the chance of mammary tumors from around 26% to less than 1%.
  • Spaying stops heat cycles, preventing the discomfort and behavior changes caused by bleeding.
  • Provides major relief from anxiety and restless behaviors.
  • Lowers risk of urinary or fecal incontinence overall.
  • Reduces unwanted attention and frustration from intact male dogs.
  • Curbs’ roaming instincts make them less likely to escape.

For Males

  • Eliminates testicular cancer risk almost completely.
  • Neutering reduces the risk of prostate problems and perineal hernias in later life.
  • It also lowers the chance of hormone-related diseases such as perianal adenomas, which are growths near the anus.
  • Significantly cuts back on roaming, aggression, and urine marking
  • Substantially improves trainability and focus.
  • Limits frustration and conflict with intact male dogs.

For Both Genders

  • Hinders the likelihood of obesity due to lower metabolic rates.
  • It also helps reduce the risk of certain orthopedic conditions, such as hip dysplasia.
  • Increases average lifespan by over 1 full year.
  • Spaying or neutering greatly reduces the number of unwanted pets.
  • Enables easier cohabitation of multiple dogs socially.

Cons to Neutering/Spaying Your Pomeranian

While spaying and neutering offer significant health benefits, there are some potential drawbacks or cons to consider as well.

Increased Orthopedic Risks

  • There is evidence suggesting a small increase in the risk of ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears and hip dysplasia from neutering, especially in larger dogs.
  • Neutered or spayed Pomeranians might have a higher risk of becoming obese, particularly if they are overfed and not exercised enough.
  • It’s important to maintain a lean weight in neutered or spayed Pomeranians by being precise with their diet and ensuring they get plenty of exercise.

Changes in Other Behavior

  • Neutering or spaying your Pom can sometimes lead to temperament changes, such as becoming more timid, anxious, or reactive.
  • Spayed or neutered Poms may develop an ‘adolescent’ look, often referred to as ‘gray muzzle’, which is an awkward, extended appearance.
  • Fixed Poms sometimes keep their puppy-like behaviors and energy, and may lack focus even as adults.

Loss of Maternal Behaviors (Females)

  • Spaying can lead to the complete disappearance of motherly behaviors, such as nesting, protecting, and nursing young.
  • Spaying may also result in some loss of typical female traits, including changes in gait and personality during heat cycles.

Potential Urinary Incontinence

  • There’s a small risk of occasional urine dribbling in Poms, especially if they are spayed very early.
  • This urinary issue usually resolves on its own or can be easily treated with medical care.

Risks Associated with Spaying/Neutering Too Early or Too Late

Too Early (Under 6 Months)

  • If spayed or neutered too early, when under 6 months, the dog’s vital growth plates may still be developing and could be damaged.
  • There is strong evidence that early spaying or neutering greatly increases the risk of various orthopedic injuries later in life
  • High probability of long-term impacts on key hormones that guide physical and social development.
  • Studies show a significantly higher risk of cognitive problems in dogs neutered too early, leading to increased fearfulness, anxiety, and timidity.
  • Early spaying or neutering is likely to negatively affect the way juvenile cells grow in ways that are not yet fully understood.
  • High likelihood of seeing clear initial signs of prepubescent genetic diseases.

Too Late (Over 1 Year Typically)

  • Neutering too late, typically over 1 year, greatly increases the chance of multiple accidental and preventable litters.
  • Substantially raises possibilities of testicular, prostate, and mammary cancers.
  • Allows frustration-fueled challenges like persistent roaming or aggression to become ingrained habits.
  • Owners often report the high cost of emergency surgeries for conditions like pyometra or prostate disease, which could have been prevented.
  • Delaying spaying allows various health problems to develop, which could have been avoided.
  • Significantly lessens health-extending benefits compared to earlier spay.

Tips to Prepare Your Pomeranian Before Surgery

Before you put your dog under the vet’s knife you need to prepare them for what’s coming. It’s important to contact the vet and follow their instructions carefully. These instructions might involve not giving the dog food on the day of the operation just to be safe.

It’s also important to be nice to the dog and try to talk to them. Dogs understand and are smart enough to pick on the emotions in your voice. They will know that you’re preparing them for something important and they feel reassured when they know that you’re by their side.

Of course, the dog will not know what is going on during the operation. But it’s important that they see your face before they go under. Don’t take the dog to the vet then go run errands. They will feel your presence and that will give them courage and boost their morale.

Tips to Take Care of You Pomeranian After Surgery (Environment, Diet, Recovery, Mood, etc)

After the surgery, your vet will advise you on the best diet to give the Pomeranian. Treats should feature prominently in their diet. Not only are their body recovering but there are so many questions they will be asking themselves.

You need to know that the Pomeranian doesn’t understand what happened or why. So be nice to them and keep away anything that might trigger them. Their mood will be low during recovery. So try to cheer them up. Offer them their favorite toy and spend a lot of time with them if you can.

During this critical time, your Pomeranian will not be able to enjoy their normal life so be patient with them. Keep the place as quiet as possible since they need a lot of sleep. Sleep is important for their body to heal. Check on the Pomeranian often and make sure they’re comfortable.

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