If you are a responsible dog owner, you will already have thought about having your new puppy neutered or spayed when the time is right. There is a real problem with unwanted puppies – not just with cockapoos – so you should take your vets advice about the right time to put your dog through the procedure. While cockapoo puppies are very cute – after all, that’s why you bought one – you do not want the trouble or cost of unwanted litters. Rest assured that each procedure is performed successfully every day by vets across the world, and neither is anything to worry about, but for the owner, it can be distressing seeing a puppy come around after undergoing an anaesthetic. However, the reduced risk of behavioural issues that can be associated with non-neutered dogs is worth the brief anguish!
Okay, so let’s start off explaining what the difference between spaying and neutering is. Spaying is when a female dog’s uterus and ovaries are removed. This is usually done with a small cut in the abdomen region, or via laparoscopy. Neutering, on the other hand, is the surgical removal of a male dog’s testicles, similar to castration (guaranteed if you’re a man and you’re reading this, you’re probably clutching your crown jewels as you read this.) Keyhole procedures are also becoming more commonplace, and are designed to leave less scarring when the dog heals.
We’re pretty much all in agreement that spaying and neutering is a good thing, but not everyone’s 100% sure as to when it can, or should, be done. Some vets recommend doing it between four and six months old, while others say between five and nine months old. Many sources say you should try and get it done before the first season where bitches are concerned. There are also those who think neutering your cockapoo after he has reached puberty has long-term health benefits. Neutering your male pup before he hits his “teens” could prevent some bad habits, like aggression and marking.
For females, some recommend spaying before their first heat – as mentioned above – which can be as early as five months old. This reduces the chance of mammary tumours, but there is evidence to show that females spayed after their first have a lower risk than unspayed pups. If you’re unsure, you can ask your vet, who will be happy to give you all the information you need.
Why Neutering or Spaying Your Cockapoo is a Good Idea
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There are a lot of reasons why spaying or neutering your puppy is a good idea. Let’s take a look at why, as a responsible pet owner, you should consider getting it done.
Your cockapoo will be happier and healthier, for longer
Spaying your cockapoo reduces the risks of breast cancer as well as uterine infections. It is often recommended to do this before her first heat. Neutering your male cockapoo will not only stop unwanted litters, but it’ll also prevent testicular cancer. Some other illnesses and problems that can occur in cockapoos, and that can be prevented by neutering or spaying, include pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus that is common in dogs and is very nasty, as well as other uterine infections. Many sources say that neutering also reduces the risk of hypothyroidism – also not uncommon in dogs of this type – and can help prevent urinary incontinence, which can be messy if left untended!
If you do your own research or talk to a vet you may also find that these procedures can also reduce the risk of mammary tumours in female dogs and eliminate prostate problems in male animals, while bone cancer is also sometimes associated with dogs not having been neutered. As you can see, there are many reasons why having your dog ‘done’ is a good idea, and it will certainly reduce the frequency of those expensive vet visits!
Your male cockapoo will stay home
A cockapoo that isn’t neutered will do pretty much anything to find a partner, whether it’s digging a hole under the fence, scaling the wall or pulling a Houdini. And once he’s out, he could get run over, or get into a fight with another male. This is a genuine problem that you need to consider as a cockapoo owner, as these are very intelligent dogs that will do their best to find a way out if the desire is strong enough!
Your neutered cockapoo will become a model citizen
Neutering your dog won’t change his personality, but it could prevent a few bad habits developing, like him marking his territory, or being aggressive. Bad behaviour can be avoided by giving him the snip early on. This is the same with smaller and larger breeds, which is why most owners – those who do not intend to breed their dogs – have them neutered. Furthermore, if you ever need to leave your dog in kennels – perhaps when you take a holiday or are away on business – they may not take a dog that has not been spayed or neutered, which leaves you with the problem of where to place your dog!
Myths and Misunderstandings
There are a few myths and misunderstandings that stop people from neutering or spaying their cockapoo. We’re not sure when and how they came about, but it’s time we bust them.
My cockapoo will become lazy and fat
No, it won’t make your cockapoo fat and lazy; too much food and not enough exercise will do that. As long as you keep up the walks and regular outings and maintain a healthy diet, your pooch will stay thin and trim.
My Cockapoo is too young
Um, no! Female dogs can be ready to produce from around four months old, while males can father puppies as early as six months of age. Your vet will recommend that you spay or neuter your pup anywhere between six and nine months old.
It’s a painful procedure
It’s no worse than any other surgery. The procedure is done under general anaesthesia you’re your pooch won’t feel a thing. There’s a chance he or she might experience some discomfort after the op, but most dogs recover quickly with the correct post-operative care. This won’t be covered by your pet insurance, but if you do need pet insurance then check out a company like Pet Premium.
I must breed
Trust us, shelters have as many thoroughbreds as they do crossbreeds, and there just aren’t enough families to adopt them. Owning a purebred or a particular mix breed, like a cockapoo, isn’t a license to breed. Leave the breeding to the experts, and keep your dog simply as a pet. That way, you’ll get all the enjoyment, without any of the hassle!
My cockapoo is an indoor pet
Yes, that may be the case but there’s no guarantee they won’t get out, and in the process get pregnant or wander off in search of a female on heat. Like the poodle and spaniel from which your crossbreed is bred, these are intelligent and inventive animals, and if they want to get out to find a mate, there is a strong chance they will!
I want my children to see the miracle of birth
Admit it, it’s a pretty feeble excuse to not neuter or spay your pet. Instead, teach your children about being a responsible pet owner.
Spaying or neutering your cockapoo as per your vet’s recommendation will make you a part of the solution, rather than contributing to the millions of strays that end up in rescue shelters every year. For us, being a responsible pet owner doesn’t only mean feeding and exercising your pooch, it also means taking care of their best interests.
Mike is the proud owner of a 7-year-old Cockapoo named Luna. He loves to share stories, tips and information about owning a Cockapoo. With over7 years of experience as an owner, Mike is passionate about helping others own and care for their dog.