A big part of owning a lab puppy is deciding whether or not to get her spayed. Unless you’re planning to breed from your lab, there’s no reason not to get her spayed, and she will gain lots of health benefits from having the operation, especially if you choose the right time to do it.
The best age to spay a lab puppy is between 6 – 18 months, preferably before her first season. Another good time to fix your lab is after her first season, but getting her spayed before offers better health benefits, for example almost no-risk of mammary tumors.
The following article offers all the information you need to look after your puppy after spaying.
I will include advice on how long she should rest, how long the cone should stay on, and some of the benefits of spaying your lab puppy.
When Should I Get My Lab Puppy Spayed?
Opinions differ on what age to spay your lab puppy, but most vets recommend spaying before her first season.
This gives her the best protection from various cancers, like mammary tumors.
However, you will still lower her risk by a massive amount if you get her spayed, no matter how many seasons she’s had.
Many people choose to get their lab puppies spayed either before the first season or after it. Your lab puppy’s first season occurs at any time between 6 – 18 months of age.
What Does Spaying Mean?
Spaying is significant veterinarian surgery, and it is a lot like a hysterectomy in humans.
The ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and cervix are removed, and your dog will no longer be able to have puppies.
She won’t come into season, and she is much less likely to get female-specific cancers or infections.
What’s the Difference Between Spaying and Neutering?
Spaying involves a female dog, and neutering is for male dogs.
When a female dog is spayed, her uterus is removed entirely, and she will have to undergo major surgery. However, neutering a male dog is much simpler and is a minor surgery.
Male dogs have a much more comfortable recovery period, but spaying your female lab puppy is different.
How Long Should a Labrador Rest After Being Spayed?
Your veterinarian will give you comprehensive aftercare instructions when your lab is spayed.
A spay surgery is major surgery and is a much more significant operation than neutering a male dog.
Usually, your puppy won’t feel like doing much for a couple of days, and after that, they’ll need to rest for a few weeks to let the muscles in the abdomen heal.
There’s an excellent video on labrador care by The Animals Influence here:
What Is the Recovery Time for My Labrador Puppy After Being Spayed?
Most vets recommend a day or two of complete rest with plain food, like chicken and rice.
Spaying a puppy means they’ll have a general anesthetic, and chicken (or white fish) and rice are best for their tummies while they recover.
Puppies are very prone to stomach upsets, so it can make a difference if you do this for the first 24 hours, at least. I also recommend providing smaller meals more often.
After the first few days, keep your puppy on short leash walks, no more than 10 minutes at a time, and do not let them run around, climb steps, or jump up or down from anything.
Keep your lab on low exercise for two weeks or until cleared by a vet.
Wound Care for Labrador Puppy Spaying
Keep your lab as settled as possible for at least two weeks, and check her wound every day.
Don’t put anything on it unless advised to by a vet, and try not to touch it. Ensure your puppy can’t lick or scratch it.
She will have a cone from the vet, and it’s crucial to her recovery that you keep this on her for the full two weeks.
If you want to secure your dog’s wound against licking and scratching, I recommend a surgical bodysuit in conjunction with the cone.
You can buy them at the vet’s office or check out this NEPT Dog Surgery Suit from Amazon.
It comes in a stunning aqua color with pawprints and is easy to undo for toilet time.
When checking the wound, call a vet immediately if you notice any swelling, redness, pus, oozing, torn stitches, or reopened wounds.
Some puppies have allergic reactions to surgical metal, so you may want to watch for this too.
Many dogs experience rashes around their surgical site if they are allergic. Call your vet for advice on what to do.
Does Spaying a Lab Calm Them Down?
Spaying or neutering your lab won’t change your dog’s personality or energy levels.
You will notice behavioral changes if you’ve seen your dog come into heat before, as these behaviors will no longer happen.
For some dog owners, things like barking, roaming, and marking (urinating on their territory, like furniture) become problematic, and so the owner chooses to get the dog spayed.
With female dogs, there can be issues like bleeding, having male dogs get into the yard after her, howling, and not being able to leave her in kennels or at petsitters while she’s in season.
Benefits of Spaying Your Lab
Spaying protects your puppy from several types of cancer and deadly infections like pyometra.
It also removes unwanted behaviors associated with being in heat, like howling.
Many kennels won’t take unspayed labs, and you’ll have to provide additional security for three weeks every six months while she’s in heat to avoid every dog in the neighborhood getting in.
One of the main benefits of spaying your lab is to stop unwanted pregnancies.
A lot of these puppies are crossbreeds who end up in shelters and potentially even euthanized.
There are also many costs and health risks associated with pregnancy and birth, and most insurance policies won’t cover you for any of this.
Reasons Not To Spay Your Lab
The only reason not to spay your lab is if you intend to breed from her. Otherwise, if you don’t want puppies, it’s much better to get your dog fixed.
The longer your dog is unspayed, the more risk she has of contracting some conditions, like pyometra. The earlier you can get your lab spayed, the better
Considering major surgery is a difficult decision for every pet owner, and spaying is no different. Usually, major surgery comes up when your dog is injured or sick, and you don’t need to think about it too much.
However, spaying is different in that you can take as much time to think about it as you want.
We’ve answered some of your frequently asked questions below.
How Long Should My Dog Wear the Cone After Spaying?
Your vet will advise you on recovery time, but the typical length of time resting and in a cone is two weeks.
However, it may be different for some dogs, and your vet may request longer or even say it’s ok to remove it early, depending on your puppy’s recovery. Never remove a cone without authorization from a vet.
Where Should My Dog Sleep After Being Spayed?
Your lab should be somewhere clean and comfy, where she can’t run around, play or climb stairs.
Remove anything she might try to jump on or off, and keep her on the floor. Provide fresh water, and keep it somewhere she can reach easily.
Don’t give her any toys that get her excited, but offer something for comforts, such as a favorite soft toy or blanket.
Make sure your lab doesn’t use the stairs for the duration of her recovery time.
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