When To Neuter A Labrador

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Learn everything about neutering your male Labrador Retrievers or spaying females, from when to do it and the benefits of spaying or neutering dogs.

As your Labrador matures into adulthood, the American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation recommends neutering or spaying your dog around puberty age; 9-15 months old is the best age to neuter. Neutering offers benefits like avoiding certain cancers and improving behavioral issues.

We offer the best advice for your Labrador’s health, sourced from experts that know what it takes to keep dogs healthy. Veterinarians associated with the American Kennel Club have set a high standard, and we’re here to pass that on and make sure your Labrador is happy and healthy.

What Does Neutering Do to Male Dogs?

Neutering is a common procedure for male dogs that involves removing the testicles. It is a safe procedure for the health of your dog when done by a professional.

It is typically performed by a veterinarian using general anesthesia. There may be up to several days of recovery required afterward.

What is the Difference Between Neuter and Spay?

Neuter is a term that’s often used to refer only to males of a species, but it can technically be used to refer to female dogs and animals, too.

When you see the word neuter used when talking about pets like Labradors, it refers to male dogs.

The word for female dogs is spay.

Will Neutering Calm My Labrador or Male Dog Down?

Neutering a Labrador puppy can be beneficial for curbing some behaviors related to sexual maturity, such as aggression and territorial marking.

But it is important to note that neutering alone can not eliminate all undesirable behaviors.

Other forms of training and discipline are vital components in helping your Labrador grow into the best version of themselves.

Training and proper socialization are also important factors in shaping your dog’s behavior. Never forget that each dog is as unique as each human and may respond differently to being neutered.

Before moving forward, discuss any concerns about your Labrador's unwanted behavior with a veterinarian or professional dog trainer before you make your decision about neutering.

They can help assess your individual dog and their temperament and needs to provide guidance on the most suitable course of action.

Neutering is not a magic pill, even though it is often the right thing to do for your dog.

Do Neutered Labradors Live Longer?

There is some evidence to suggest that spaying or neutering your Labrador may have a positive impact on their lifespan.

On average, neutered males and spayed female dogs can live up to a year and a half longer than intact dogs.

Neutering may be a beneficial choice for your dog, as studies have found it can help reduce the risk of aggressive behavior and certain types of cancers associated with the reproductive system.

By choosing to neuter or spay your dog, you are taking steps towards helping them live their best life with you and your family.

We recommend managing your expectations as pet owners.

Neutering a dog can influence their lifespan, but the impact depends on several other factors, too, like genetics, diet, lifestyle, and overall health problems.

To make the most informed decision that’s best for your Labrador Retriever, consult your vet and focus your attention on all areas of your dog's wellness.

What Does Spaying Do to Female Dogs?

Spaying is a safe, effective way to ensure your female Labrador lives a good life according to your plans. It’s a vital step for dog parents and involves the surgical removal of the dog’s ovaries and uterus.

Also called an ovariohysterectomy, this procedure is performed by a qualified vet while under general anesthesia, just like the male dog version of neutering. Spay can be thought of as the female dog version of neuter.

Why Should I Spay My Female Labrador Retrievers?

Being responsible dog owners can have great rewards for you and your female Labrador.

Spaying offers numerous health benefits. Health-wise, it offers protection against scary, life-threatening illnesses, including uterine infections and breast tumors.

There’s also the potential for reduced aggression when you spay your Labrador.

For you guys, the pet owners, spaying can help you evade the high cost and responsibility of caring for an unexpected litter of unwanted puppies, as well as the potential legal and financial issues that frequently come with unplanned dog breeding.

Spayed females can’t get pregnant.

No matter the dog’s gender, neutering and/or spaying come with plenty of considerations towards creating an enriched environment filled with safety and joy for your Labradors.

Is There Any Reason Not to Neuter or Spay My Male and Female Dogs?

When choosing to spay or neuter your young Labrador Retriever, their intended role is an important factor.

If you have a dog that will be used for breeding or competitive show purposes, it’s best to wait until they’re a little more fully grown before going through with the procedure.

However, if your Labrador is just there as a loving pet for you and your family, neutering them while they’re young provides nothing but benefits.

As always, have an open and honest conversation with a trusted, licensed veterinarian before making any decisions.

What Is the Best Age to Have a Labrador Spayed or Neutered?

Veterinarians and the best available data recommend spaying or neutering your Labradors between 9 and 15 months of age.

Since Labrador Retrievers are a larger breed than others, they take a bit longer to reach sexual maturity. It’s recommended you wait until your dog is nearing one year of age before considering spaying or neutering them for this reason.

In rare cases, earlier neutering may be recommended, only by a vet, if the dog is already presenting unwanted behaviors like marking territory or humping.

Can a Dog Be Too Old to Be Neutered or Spayed?

The short answer is no. Neutering is a great choice for many dogs, regardless of age. It’s never too late when it comes to when to neuter a Labrador.

The health risks and benefits change and should be taken into account when considering neutering older dogs. With proper care from you and your vet, your Labrador can enjoy the rewards at any stage of life.

Even in old age, spaying and neutering can reduce your dog’s long-term health risks for all of the negative health problems mentioned earlier. Neutering may even be considered a treatment for conditions like testicular cancer.

Essentially, if your older dog is healthy enough to undergo surgery of any kind, they are still able to be spayed or neutered.

How Much Does It Cost to Spay or Neuter My Dog?

On average, it costs less to neuter a male dog than it costs to spay a female dog. Spaying is a more complicated and invasive procedure.

Neutering your male dog can cost as little as $50, while spaying female dogs will start at double that, $100.

Expect to pay up to $250 dollars to neuter your male dog or Labrador and as much as $500 to spay your female Labrador, barring the extra cost of any add-on services offered by your veterinarian.

Some vets will take the opportunity to perform other procedures like teeth extraction while your dog is under general anesthesia. Post-surgical care can increase the cost as well.

About THE AUTHOR

Mark Brunson

Mark Brunson

Mark is the founder of Everything Labradors and a husband and father of 3. He enjoys spending time with his family, including his dog Molly, a Labrador/Golden Retriever mix. He’s a big fan of the outdoors and loves to travel to new places.

Read more about Mark Brunson