All About the Surgical Procedure to Neuter a Dog

Neutering, the surgical procedure to spay or neuter a cat or dog, is a common and safe procedure. As with all surgeries, there are risks involved along with the benefits. If you are considering neutering your dog or puppy, it’s important to learn about the potential complications that can arise after the operation. This article will discuss some of those issues in detail so you can make an informed decision.

About the procedure

Neutering is a surgical procedure in which the testicles of your dog are removed. The procedure is also called gonadectomy and castration, but it’s most commonly referred to as neutering.

The purpose of neutering is to prevent male dogs from reproducing, but it has other benefits as well. Neutered dogs have less chance of developing prostate cancer and other reproductive system diseases such as perianal adenoma, prostatitis, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), and testicular cancer. They’re also less likely to mark their territory with urine and lift their legs when urinating or defecating outside of the litter box—though they may still need to be trained not to lift their legs indoors if you don’t want them making a mess on your floors!

Neutered dogs tend to gain weight more easily because testosterone suppresses appetite; this can be especially problematic for certain breeds like boxers that already carry more weight than average for their size category when full grown adults.

Other side effects include aggression against other animals in heat due to decreased sexual drive among young adult males who aren’t yet mature enough mentally or physically yet across all genders alike simply because this hormone controls so many different functions inside our bodies even outside those directly related specifically towards sex organs themselves.

Pre-operative considerations and preparations

  • Your dog should be healthy and current on all vaccinations.
  • The procedure is most often performed on dogs under 12 months old, but can be done as early as 6 months provided that the dog is healthy and not overweight.
  • Dogs should not have any underlying health conditions or issues, such as a tumor or heart condition that may interfere with surgery. Additionally, dogs must not have received steroids within the past 30 days or antibiotics (within 48 hours of surgery).

Additionally, there are certain medications that can interfere with anesthetic drugs used in surgery—these include NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), tricyclic antidepressants (amitriptyline and clomipramine), phenobarbital, pentobarbital, acepromazine hydrochloride, selegiline hydrochloride and metoclopromide hydrochloride. If your doctor has prescribed any of these medications for your pet to take during the prep period before surgery date then you should consult them immediately about making appropriate changes so that your pet’s surgical experience will be safe.

Day of surgery

The day of surgery, your dog will be sedated and given anesthesia. On the day after surgery, your dog will be put under a general anesthetic for pain management.

After about three days, if there are no complications, your dog will make a full recovery from her neutering procedure without any other issues or complications from the procedure itself.

Post-operative care

  • Keep your dog quiet and resting for at least 24 hours after the surgery.
  • Keep your dog on a leash until he is fully recovered.
  • Do not allow your dog to run or jump around, as this could cause his stitches to come undone, which could lead to inflammation of the incision site (called “infection”).
  • If it is cold outside and you are forced to let your dog out, make sure that he stays warm by keeping him in a heated area indoors or under blankets if possible—even if he’s just going outside for just a minute!
  • Avoid drafts and wind exposure until all sutures have been removed (usually two weeks after surgery). Avoid sun exposure as well since it may irritate some dogs’ incisions.

Neutering your dog is safer and less invasive than ever before.

Neutered dogs tend to be more loyal companions with better dispositions than intact animals. In addition to these benefits for owners, neutering can actually help reduce health problems for both dogs and their owners as well.


The surgical procedure to neuter a dog is relatively simple and straightforward, although there are still a few important pre- and postoperative considerations. Keep in mind that your veterinarian will be able to answer any questions you have about the procedure itself or care for your pet after it’s completed. In addition to the above information, we suggest consulting the AVMA’s pet owner resources for more details about neutering procedures for both male and female dogs (and cats), as well as information on other common veterinary procedures.