The Furry Critter Network


Male Neutering: Castration

When a male dog undergoes neutering, the procedure is recognized as castration. It involves total elimination of testes through little surgical incisions that are applied between the scrotum and penis. They are without any vasectomies (dissimilar to humans) and the process is not usually applied only for birth control. In numerous cases, owners are unaware of this fact. After the operation only, they come across it and might have resentment.

Female Neutering: Spaying

Female dog neutering is recognized as spaying. The procedure generally involves ovariohysterectomy. It means removal of the uterus and ovaries through surgical incisions over their belly buttons. In case of human (hysterectomy). There, the removal of uterus takes place. The reason is similar to that of male dogs, i.e. birth control is not the only reason why female dogs are spayed.

FAQ on Dog Neutering

A question that bothers every owner prior to the decision on neutering their pet is that “at what age can a dog be neutered”? Some professionals believe that it might have adverse effect if applied at the wrong time.

When should a male dog be castrated?

Experts believe that age can vary with breeds under consideration. In case of male pets, the optimal time is the one where maturity of their skeletal muscle is visible. In terriers (or other similar smaller breeds), it takes place generally about the time when they approach six months. However, maturity is slow in larger breeds and it should be avoided till the dog is about a year old. If you are applying castration for altering your dog's behavior, it should be applied as early as possible giving little opportunity for the behavior to continue.

When should a female dog be spayed?

Spaying in females is done within three months of their first season. By applying the procedure at such an early stage, their chances of acquiring mammary tumors in the later part of their life are minimal. If you leave the procedure for a period of two seasons, you might lose the opportunity to completely avoid the disease. Similar to their male counterparts, a smaller breed bitch matures quicker than larger ones and has its first season taking place sooner (only half-a-year in most cases).


If you spay females during their season, chances are that they will bleed more. Vets usually delay the procedure to 3 months after their season for safer surgery. Again, allowing a litter prior to spaying might leave you missing the opportunity of doing it in the optimal window. You might also lose the option of preventing breast cancers in the later part of their life.

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The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

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If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

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Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.