What’s the Best Age to Spay or Neuter a Bulldog?


Spaying in female dogs and neutering in males is the surgical procedure that removes the reproductive organs of the dog. This makes them unable to reproduce. Getting your dog spayed or neutered can provide numerous health benefits for your dog.

What is the best age to spay or neuter your bulldogs?

Spaying Age

It is recommended to spay your female bulldog before its first heat cycle, which occurs somewhere between six to seven months of age. Vets recommend waiting until a female bulldog reaches about six months of age to spay to allow them to tolerate the anesthesia more easily.

Neutering Age

Vets recommend that male bulldogs get neutered or altered between the ages of seven to ten months since they sexually mature between five to six months.

Interestingly, male bulldogs that are neutered before reaching puberty can grow bigger than the ones that are neutered after puberty. This is because growth plate sealing involves the presence of the hormone testosterone and neutered dogs have less of that.

Why do some breeders contractually require new owners to spay or neuter their bulldog?

Some breeders require that those who are purchasing bulldogs from them as pets and not as show dogs must contractually agree to spay or neuter the dog. This is because show dog breeders usually sell the pet bulldogs at a lower price because they don’t meet breed-specific standards of a show dog. The breeders don’t want the lower standards to be passed on to other generations. So, to prevent that they require spaying or neutering.

Should all bulldogs be spayed or neutered?

If you don’t plan to breed your bulldogs, then yes, all bulldogs should be spayed or neutered. It prevents them from bringing more puppies into the world, thereby leading to better population control.

Apart from that, getting your dog spayed or neutered prevents them from potentially getting various health problems, including uterine infections, mammary tumors, and false pregnancies. Your bulldogs are more likely to live longer and healthier when they are spayed or neutered, while also preventing accidental breeding.

You do not only keep the stray dog population under control, but also ensuring that a regular day at the park doesn’t lead to an unplanned pregnancy. Every year, millions of dogs are euthanized as there are not enough willing owners to care for puppy litters. Getting your pet spayed or neutered eliminates all these issues, making the world a better place for dogs.

What are the risks of spaying or neutering your bulldogs too early?

Whether male or female, the development of your bulldog’s joints, bones, and other internal organs involves their reproductive hormones. Removing reproductive organs too early doesn’t allow them adequate time to complete these developments. Therefore, early spaying or neutering can lead to uneven growth of the leg bones, making your pet vulnerable to torn ligaments, hip dysplasia, as well as bone cancer.

Getting female bulldogs spayed too early can also lead to urinary incontinence. If she is spayed prior to complete development of her bladder, the weak muscles might start leaking by the time she reaches adolescence.

Lastly, early spaying can largely alter the shape and size of a female bulldogs’ private parts. The vulva can remain recessed inside the female dog’s body instead of properly protruding. The skin folds of an abnormal vulva can trap bacteria and cause various infections.

Risks of spaying or neutering your bulldogs too late

Although bulldogs can be spayed even after they reach adulthood, they may be prone to certain risks when spayed or neutered too late.

Bulldogs that are neutered at an adult age have a higher risk and might face surgery complications, especially those who are in poor health or are overweight. Older bulldogs might find it difficult to keep up with the lack of food as well as the stress that follows the surgery as the animal doesn’t feel like eating for the initial two days post-surgery.

Lastly, the anesthesia provided for surgery can cause nausea and you might want to take your dog’s health in close consideration against the effects of anesthesia.

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Ollie the English bulldog
Benefits that come with spaying or neutering your bulldog

The spaying or neutering procedure comes with numerous health and lifestyle benefits for your bulldog. Some of them are listed below:

No more heat periods in females:

By getting your female bulldog spayed, your bulldog won’t experience periods that can last for as long as three weeks. The scent during the heat period also attracts male dogs in the neighborhood.

No breeding:

When your female bulldog is spayed, she will not bear puppies and give birth, as her uterus and ovaries have been removed. Bulldogs can be very tough to breed as they are linked with various health problems that may get increased with pregnancy.

No false pregnancy:

Spayed female dogs don’t undergo false pregnancy, which is a condition where their bodies start believing that they are pregnant even if they aren’t. This can also cause their breasts and bellies to grow bigger, while also making them aggressive in order to try to keep their offspring safe.

Prevents pyometra:

The infection of the uterus, pyometra causes the uterus to thicken, thereby leading to the buildup of bacteria and pus. It can also lead to kidney failure, blood poisoning, and even death.

Minimized risk of various cancers:

The removal of ovaries in female bulldogs lowers the risk of developing mammary cancer. On the other hand, male bulldogs that have been neutered don’t suffer from the risk of developing testicular cancer. Apart from that, the risk of enlarged prostate also goes away in neutered bulldogs which can otherwise make it difficult for the dog to urinate.

Reduced marking issues:

The fact that the testicles of male bulldogs are removed when they are neutered changes their hormonal balance. Less testosterone means less desire to mark their territory, while also leading to lesser spraying issues in the neighborhood.

Stabilized mood:

Dogs are very protective and aggressive when it comes their territories, especially when other male bulldogs are nearby. Neutering reduces such behaviors, thereby making them less aggressive, without decreasing their desire to be playful.

Reduced urge to roam and mate:

Un-neutered bulldogs experience the urge to run away from home when they sense a female dog in heat nearby. Neutering reduces this urge to mate, thereby reducing the desire to roam and possibly run away from home.

Reduced sexual behaviors:

Some male bulldogs can be quite hyper-sexual, often displaying this behavior by mounting other dogs or leg humping. Neutering changes the urge to mate and that’s why it also helps reduce such behaviors.

What are the negatives of spaying or neutering?

Spaying or neutering your bulldog comes with several possible negative effects too. Some of them are:

Obesity:

Getting your bulldogs spayed or neutered alters their hormonal makeup, thereby increasing the risk of obesity as this breed is already quite prone to gaining weight. Obesity is associated with numerous other health issues, including heat tolerance, hip dysplasia, and breathing problems. However, the right diet and meal routine after the surgery can prevent this negative effect of spaying/neutering.

Hemangiosarcoma:

The procedure of spaying or neutering can increase the chances of developing hemangiosarcoma, which is cancer that affects blood vessels. It can heighten the risk of hemangiosarcoma in the heart by five times, while doubling up the chances of hemangiosarcoma of the spleen.

Hypothyroidism:

The primary sources of hormones are removed during spaying or neutering, thereby leading to a decrease or loss in the levels of hormones. This, in turn, can upset the endocrine system of the dog, and could lead to hypothyroidism that can cause inactivity and weight gain.

Anesthesia problems:

Before the surgery, your bulldog needs to be put under anesthesia. Unfortunately, some dogs don’t wake up because of general anesthesia. Make sure you consult the vet and get your bulldog’s health thoroughly checked to ensure that they can handle the procedure.

What are all the factors to consider before spaying or neutering your bulldog?

Once you have planned to get your bulldog spayed or neutered, it’s essential to keep a few things in mind before going for the procedure.

Bloodwork:

Make sure your dog is healthy enough to undergo the surgery by visiting your vet and getting the pre-surgical blood work done.

Diet:

Your bulldog shouldn’t eat anything for at least eight hours before he or she undergoes the surgery to avoid the anesthesia from causing nausea. However, they can drink water.

Training:

Make sure you restrict all activity for a few days before your dog goes for the surgery. To ensure this, you can make them stay in a crate.

Be calm:

Your pet is going to respond to your emotions and if you seem to be nervous, the little one is going to sense that and feel the same. Thus, make sure you are reassuring and calm when you bring your bulldog for surgery. After all, it’s essential to make them feel comfortable.

It can rightly be concluded that getting your bulldog spayed or neutered at the right age is perhaps one of the best decisions you are going to make when it comes to keeping your bulldog healthy and hearty. However, their health is the most significant concern, so consult with your local vet for a before making your final decision on whether to spay or neuter your bulldog and at what age.

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