What Age Should You Spay a Bernedoodle?
Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a scientific consensus on when you should spay your Bernedoodle – or any dog, really.
Some breeders and scientists suggest that the benefits of early spaying outweigh the risks. Your first goal should be to prevent early litters and overpopulation, according to these experts. Plus, there is little risk in the surgery itself.
Many veterinarians are very good at spaying surgeries, as these occur regularly.
However, others point towards the potential health complications of spaying a dog when they are too young. For instance, dogs that are spayed at a young age may be at a higher risk of immune disorders, according to one study.
We do know that females are not at a higher chance of obesity when spayed, though. This is not the case with sterilized males, who tend to be at a higher risk when they are neutered at a young age.
Sadly, we seem to have more information on neutering dogs than spaying them. Most studies regarding joint health are done on males – not females. Some of this information may cross over to females, but we simply don’t know until more studies are done.
One study did find that spaying females before they reached six months nearly doubled their chance of joint problems later in life. It also increased their risk of cancer, though this risk increased no matter when they were spayed.
When it comes to deciding when to spay your dog, there is no perfect option. Each one has its risks and benefits.
Spaying your dog early completely eliminates the possibility of a litter. If you are an inexperienced pet owner, you may not be equipped to properly deal with the female’s first heat (and the associated diapers, clean-up etc.). An early litter will likely hurt the dog just as much if not more than spaying them early. Therefore, most first-time owners are particularly encouraged to spay their canine.
However, for those who can keep their female away from males easily, it may make more sense to wait until they are fully grown at 18 months. This may reduce the risk of certain health problems, and there will (hopefully) not be any litters during this time either.
Your life situation will likely play a large role. If you live somewhere that makes quarantining a female dog difficult, you will likely want to spay her right away. If you live somewhere that makes this task easy, then the decision not to spay may make more sense.