Many people still believe that a dog or cat should have her first heat before she is spayed. In a vet office yesterday, I overheard a young couple ask the vet, “Can our puppy really get pregnant now? She is only a baby!” Their puppy was a 7- month-old baby, so the vet’s answer was YES she can! Dogs and cats (puppies and kittens really) can go into heat as young as 6 months of age, especially smaller dogs and kittens. That’s just one reason the ASPCA and so many caring vets are recommending their clients have their dogs and cats spayed before 5 months of age. Your puppy does not need to have her first heat – on the contrary! North Shore Animal League of America points out that, among other benefits, by spaying before the first heat: “Risk of mammary gland tumors, ovarian and/or uterine cancer is reduced or eliminated, especially if done before the first heat cycle.”
There are so many great reasons to have your dog or cat spayed by 5 months of age! NSALA not only has a great website listing them all at www.spayusa.org, their SpayUSA website or 800-248-7729 hotline will help you find a low-cost or free spay option near you.