You’ve had your Samoyed for a few months now. In that time, you’ve gotten their vaccines taken care of, you’ve had your vet put them on anti-flea and anti-tick medications, and you’ve ensured they’re free of heartworms, also through meds. Something else you might consider for your Sammy is getting them spayed or neutered, or de-sexed. Are these surgeries good for your dog?

Unless you plan on breeding Samoyeds, then we strongly encourage you to consider a spay/neuter. De-sexing surgery benefits your dog in many ways, such as:

  • Saving you money since you don’t have to raise puppies (and pay for their food and vet bills) or care for a pregnant mother
  • Improving bad behaviour as sexual urges disappear
  • Reducing the chances of your dog running away to find a mate
  • Lessening their risk of getting certain cancers
  • Improving their longevity

I got Middle neutered when she turned 10 months old and I’ve never regretted my decision. That said, I do realize that the topic of spaying or neutering your dog is controversial to some people. It shouldn’t be. In this article, I’ll expand on the above benefits, tell you when you may get this surgery for your dog, and debunk some myths so you can feel comfortable about a spay/neuter for your pet.

Let’s begin.

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What Is a Spay/Neuter?

Before diving too deep into spay/neuters, I thought it’d be best to start with a definition of both procedures. Although they both make pregnancy impossible, these two surgeries are different. If you have a female Samoyed like Middle, then she’d receive a spay. The ovaries always come out with this surgery, and sometimes the uterus does as well, but this depends. If the vet only takes removes the ovaries, then they performed an ovariectomy. If they took out the uterus, too, that’s an ovariohysterectomy.

Do you own a male Sammy instead? He’d get neuter. There is only one form of this surgery, unlike spaying. With neutering, your vet removes not only the testicles but also any associated structures. The term also goes by castration. It’s not the same as a vasectomy, in which a reproductive tube gets cut.

With these surgeries, as said, the female animal can no longer get pregnant. Also, male dogs cannot impregnate females. Spay/neuters often curb sexual behaviour as well, which I will talk about later in this article.

When Should Your Dog Get Spayed or Neutered?

As I mentioned in the intro, I got my Samoyed Middle spayed when she was 10 months old. That may seem young to you, but many pet owners opt to get this procedure taken care of much younger than that.

In some cases, people will take their dog to the vet for a spay/neuter at the two-month mark, but this doesn’t happen very often. If you’re thinking of doing the same for your Sammy, then I highly encourage you to talk to your vet first before scheduling the surgery.

It’s better to wait a bit longer, such as when the dog turns four or six months old. But not too long. Waiting longer means your puppy will grow bigger, then the surgery might be a little bit difficult because your Samoyed could bleed more during the surgery. If you think the surgery is necessary, then it’s better to get it done before your Samoyed gets matured.

In fact, rather than just their age, there are other points to take into consideration before scheduling a spay/neuter for your dog. Let’s discuss these more now.

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Size

This applies more in males than females, but keep the size of your dog in mind when deciding whether it’s time for a spay or neuter. You can generally guess how big your dog will get by their breed. If you have a bigger dog, you can typically get away with going 12 months before the surgery. Smaller and mid-sized dogs likely need the procedure sooner, at about the six-month mark.

Heat Cycle

Female dogs can go into heat. This is a period where your dog becomes more open to sexual advances from other males. Heat cycles occur regularly and last for about two weeks, sometimes four weeks.

If you can get your female dog spayed ahead of her going into heat the very first time, that’s ideal. Your dog then has less chance of getting canine mammary cancer, a type of breast cancer. Do keep in mind that your Samoyed may begin her heat cycles when she turns five months old, but sometimes it’s 10 months.

Home Environment

Do you have two Samoyeds of opposite genders? Did they come from one litter and have lived together with their whole lives? Things may have been harmonious so far, but that doesn’t mean the two dogs won’t try reproducing when they both become sexually mature.

Speak to your vet about your situation, because you’ll typically get your canine companions spayed and neutered sooner than most other dog owners would.

Breed

Besides the size of the dog, their breed also matters. Small breeds often reach sexual maturity more slowly than bigger ones. Since Samoyeds are mid-sized breeds, they won’t become sexually mature quickly, but it won’t be a slow-going process, either.

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The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

Next, I want to get into the many reasons you should consider getting your Samoyed de-sexed. These benefits apply to dogs of any breed, not just Sammies.

You Save a Lot of Money

How much money do you spend on your Samoyed now? Depending on the extent of their grooming and care, maybe it’s a few hundred dollars a month, perhaps even more. How would you like to add more money on top of those costs?

That’s a chance you take when you forego spaying or neutering your Sammy. If you have a female dog as I do with Middle, she’s always at some risk of pregnancy when spending time with a male dog. At least if you have a male Samoyed, if he gets another canine pregnant, that’s not your dog. If your female Sammy does get pregnant, then you have to deal with all the repercussions yourself.

For instance, a pregnant female needs far more medical attention than your dog probably usually receives. You’ll take her to the vet’s office all the time for checkups as she gets closer to giving birth. Even when that milestone happens, your appointments don’t stop. There’s the post-birth care for the mother, not to mention all the puppies.

Each puppy needs vaccines, de-worming, anti-flea, anti-tick, and other medications and treatments. The average female will birth five to eight puppies, so take the costs for the above care and then multiply them by how many puppies you have. Yes, it’s a lot of money.

Even when they’re not at the vet, the puppies need shelter, food, water, leashes, and toys. If this sounds overwhelming, that’s because it is. Spaying/neutering prevents you from shelling out for all these expenses.

You Free up Your Time

If you thought running around to the vet day in and day out sucked up a lot of your money, I haven’t even touched on how much time it takes. You’ll get to know your vet’s waiting room as well as you do any room in your house. Your life will become a repeat loop of vet’s offices, pet stores, jogs outside, and maybe getting some sleep as you care for your big Samoyed family.

Even if you decide not to keep the puppies, rehoming them requires a lot of your time as well. You either have to make fliers, post on social media, or ask around. Maybe you even do all three. People will come to your house to see the dogs, which also means another time commitment.

You can skip a life straight out of 101 Dalmatians by spaying/neutering your Samoyed when they’re of age.

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Fewer Homeless Pets in the World

According to the Humane Society, annually, six to eight million dogs and cats will end up in a United States animal shelter. Most shelters struggle to accommodate new animals, as they barely have the room for the ones they do have. While these shelters do their best to get most of the pets adopted, that doesn’t always happen. These animals then get euthanized or killed.

The pet’s age or health doesn’t even get taken into account. They just get their lives tragically cut short.

If that breaks your heart, I don’t blame you. I also hope it spurs you to strongly consider spaying/neutering your Samoyed if you haven’t already. When you prevent your dog from impregnating others or from getting pregnant herself, you ensure you’re not contributing to the too-large homeless pet population.

Do you have other pets? It’s not just dogs that get euthanized, but felines, too. If you have a cat that hasn’t been spayed or neutered, get the procedure done as well. Doing so could save another pet’s life.

Less Sexually-Driven Behavior

Your Sammy was a sweet baby bundle of joy for a few months, then they turned sexually mature. Now, they do some regrettable things that make them a little less joyful to be around. For instance, maybe your Samoyed has started humping or barking all the time. They could be eager to take off and get free when you walk them so they can see other dogs.

Spaying or neutering your dog can eliminate or at least severely reduce these behaviours. For instance, if your dog humps everything in sight, that’s obviously a sexual behaviour that a spay/neuter can help with. Even them barking a lot could be a way to show dominance or get the attention of a mate.

Some male dogs get especially aggressive as they reach sexual maturity, biting and scratching at other animals in the home and sometimes even family members. Your Sammy was once very gentle, so this surprises you a lot.

Now, a de-sexing surgery isn’t a magic bullet. While the above behaviours should abate after a spay/neuter, that doesn’t always happen, at least not entirely. If so, then it’s likely your dog’s misbehaving isn’t sexually driven. You might want to consider doubling down on training or taking them to a class.

For more training tips, please see our post Are Samoyeds Hard to Train? Can I Train Them by Myself?

A Better, Healthier Life for Your Dog

You want to your Samoyed around for as long as possible, right? Getting them spayed/neutered increases their chances of having many happy years with you.

Neutering can lessen a dog’s risk of developing both prostate and testicular cancers. Female dogs (and cats, for that matter) that don’t get spayed could have conditions like reproductive cancer, uterine cancer, and a uterine infection called pyometra. Unfortunately, this infection can lead to death.

Another factor that can shorten your Samoyed’s life? When your dog roams because they want to mate, things can sometimes get ugly. Other dogs might vie for the female, which leads to fights between males. If your dog gets involved in one of these violent fights, it could sustain life-threatening injuries.

That’s just if your dog tussles with another. Even females aren’t impervious to potential death when roaming. Any dog could sadly get hit by a car, for instance. Plus, you could lose your dog altogether, a fate that sometimes seems worse than death.

When you get your Samoyed spayed or neutered, they have less urge to participate in any of the above unscrupulous behaviours.

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Is This Procedure Cruel to the Dog in Any Way?

Cutting down on the homeless pet population and extending your dog’s lifestyle is the opposite of cruel. Your pet isn’t awake during their spay/neuter procedure, as they receive anesthesia. Some vets even use another medication that will lessen pain, making the surgery as comfortable as possible.

Veterinary staff will watch your dog’s heart rate and oxygen levels to ensure your Samoyed’s safe during the surgery. Spay/neuters have become so common that vets can perform them quickly and efficiently, doing so in less than an hour. The small incision normally heals up and may leave a slight scar, but that’s often covered by fur.

In short, then, there is nothing cruel about getting your dog or cat spayed/neutered. They’ll be in good hands and have a better quality of life once they’re recovered.

Debunking Spay/Neuter Myths

I also wanted to take a moment to dispel the prevalent rumours surrounding spaying and neutering. You may have read these online yourself once, and maybe you even believed them. For each myth, I’ll also include the truth.

Myth: Male dogs may start acting differently after neuter.

Truth: The concept of masculinity is something that only humans identify with. If you’re concerned your dog will miss his male parts, he really won’t know that too much is gone. His life as a dog continues as normal.

Myth: These surgeries cost too much money.

Truth: A spay/neuter may be priced as low as $50 and as much as $800, but it depends on where you live and which vet you choose. Also, some services offer very inexpensive (but still safe) options for pet owners who want this procedure for their dog.

Myth: My dog will become overweight after a spay/neuter.

Truth: These procedures do not affect a dog’s weight. Sure, your Samoyed might remain inactive as they recover, but once they’re mostly healed and exercising, their weight shouldn’t change.

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Related Questions

Q: How can you care for your dog after a spay or neuter?

A: Once your vet successfully performs the spay or neuter, your Samoyed should shake off the effects of the anesthesia fairly quickly. If your vet used reversible anesthesia, it could take only 30 minutes before your dog is up and on its feet again.

When you bring your Samoyed home, take them right inside. Don’t feed them much for at least three hours, as the anesthesia could mess with their stomach. For a week, sometimes up to 10 days, you must limit what your Sammy does as much as possible. Keep them from jumping or running especially.

Every day, at least two times, look at the incision. If it’s bleeding somewhat, don’t stress, as that’s normal. Swelling and excess pus discharge could be indicative of an infection or other complication though, so make sure you call your vet if you spot these.

About a week after the surgery, bring your Sammy in for a follow-up appointment. Your vet will let you know how your dog is doing post-op as well as offer further treatment or care.

Q: What medication can I use to treat my dog’s pain after a spay or neuter?

A: When we humans are in pain, we take Tylenol, ibuprofen, or aspirin. What about your dog? Your Samoyed does not need the same meds. If you give your dog aspirin right after their spay or neuter, they could die. The same is true of offering them ibuprofen or Tylenol anytime. These two over-the-counter painkillers are poisonous to dogs.

Instead, if you’re concerned about your Samoyed’s pain post-op, then ask your vet to prescribe them a painkiller. The veterinarian will give you something safe for your dog to take. To stay on the safe side, always follow your vet’s dosage instructions very carefully.

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Should You Shave Your Samoyed or Just Trim and Groom Them?

Should You Shave Your Samoyed or Just Trim and Groom Them?

You should never shave your Samoyed, as you can accidentally destroy their coat. Sammies typically have an undercoat covered by an exterior layer of guard hair. The undercoat sheds when the seasons change, but the guard hair maintains itself. Their undercoat is their means of insulation from the cold. By shaving it, their undercoat cannot serve its primary purpose anymore. It can also take up to three years for the guard hair to grow back. Until it does, your Samoyed’s fur can get very wet and dirty fast since the undercoat isn’t made for much more than insulating. It’s much better to trim or groom the fur instead.