So, you’ve just arrived home with your adorable new Saint Bernard and you’re totally enamoured. All you want to do is cuddle and squeeze them, and spend literally every day locked in the house playing with them – forever…
But, there’s a serious side to the first few months of owning a Saint Bernard. Vet visits, injections and health checks are all too often in the early stages and, following all that, the final decision you have to make is whether or not to have your Saint Bernard spayed or neutered.
It’s a major decision – we get that – so here’s all you need to know about what you should be considering and what’s best for your Saint Bernard.
Spayed or Neutered?
Everyone assumes you’ll know which is which but, to be honest, we still get confused which is which, so don’t panic. Here’s the basics:
Spaying is when a female dog’s uterus and ovaries are removed. The procedure usually involves cutting a small incision in the abdomen.
Neutering, therefore, is the surgical removal of a male dog’s testes (enough said…).
When Should I Have My Saint Bernard Spayed or Neutered?
Whilst recommendations vary, vets typically suggest that you should have your Saint Bernard spayed or neutered between the ages of four and nine months. There are various reasons for such a broad timeframe, although some vets suggest that timing can have positive effects on your Saint Bernard’s behaviour, dependent on their sex.
Although there is no 100% definite answer, it is often suggested that you should have your male Saint Bernard neutered after he has reached the age of puberty. This is thought to have long-term health benefits, as well as helping to prevent behavioural traits, such as marking and aggression.
For female Saint Bernard’s, there is no dead set answer as to when you should have them spayed. Whilst some recommend spaying before first heat (as young as five months), others suggest that this can increase the risk of mammary tumours. We would always recommend consulting your vet for a personalised opinion.
Most studies have said that spaying a dog can calm them down in most cases. However, it should not be seen as a cure-all for puppy problems.
Why Should I Have My Saint Bernard Spayed or Neutered?
There are many reasons why you should have your Saint Bernard spayed or neutered, not least of all because it will likely improve their quality of life (and stop you from worrying about a litter of puppies). Here’s what you need to know:
Firstly, you’re going to have a happy and healthy Saint Bernard. Spaying is proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer and uterine infections, and neutering similarly prevents testicular cancer. So, if you want to prevent these major Saint Bernard killers, neutering and spaying is a sure fire way.
Neutering your male Saint Bernard will also ensure that he is on his best behaviour at all times. Neutering prevents aggressive and territorial behaviours, and also means that he wont be spending his entire walk hunting for a partner. So, if you want to prevent these embarrassments, get your Saint Bernard neutered early on!
You could save the lives of countless Saint Bernard puppies (no, really)! Millions of animals are euthanised every year because there are simply not enough willing owners to cater for endless litters of puppies. Having this done will prevent unwanted litters and ultimately save the lives of millions of baby Saint Bernard that would end up in shelters.
- No, the procedure is not painful. Well, it’s no worse than any other surgery, and it’s carried out under general anaesthetic, so they won’t feel a thing.
- Your Saint Bernard won’t become fat and lazy. Just because they’re not ‘at it’ doesn’t mean they’re going to pile on the pounds. With regular dog walks (thanks to Tailster 😉 )and exercise, they’ll stay slim and trim.
- Don’t worry about age, the vet will ensure that your Saint Bernard isn’t too young to be spayed or neutered. Female Saint Bernards can reproduce as young as four months old, and male Saint Bernards can as of six months.