Will Spaying Calm a Female Dog? Plus Tips to Help Her Relax

Discover how spaying can make a female dog calmer and healthier. See what influences your dog's behavior after spaying and how to support a steady recovery.

Will Spaying Calm a Female Dog? Plus Tips to Help Her Relax
Unstable and inconsistent behavior? Learn how spaying can calm a female dog and how you can help.

Image by Mandyme27 from Pixabay

You may wonder how spaying your dog can affect her behavior and mood. Will spaying calm a female dog or cause any problems? Spaying is a standard procedure that removes a female dog's ovaries and uterus, preventing her from going into heat and reproducing. I'll explain how this surgery can affect a female dog's behavior, the factors influencing the outcome, and how you can help your dog feel calm and safe afterward.

Reducing Hormonal Fluctuations

Spaying can have several benefits for your female dog's behavior, especially if you do it before her first heat cycle. One of these benefits is reducing hormonal fluctuations.

Female dogs undergo hormonal changes every six months or so when in heat. This cycle can cause them to become more irritable, restless, anxious, or aggressive. They may also show signs of nesting, such as collecting toys or other objects and guarding them.

Spaying can help reduce or eliminate these hormonal swings and make your dog more stable and consistent in her mood.

Preventing Unwanted Pregnancies

Another benefit of spaying is preventing unwanted pregnancies. Female dogs in heat can attract male dogs from miles away, and they may try to escape or mate with them.

Mating can lead to unwanted pregnancies, which can be stressful for you and your dog. But spaying prevents this and saves you from dealing with unwanted puppies or complications.

Lowering the Risk of Health Problems

Spaying your dog also lowers the risk of several health issues that can affect their behavior, such as:

  • Mammary tumors
  • Pyometra (a life-threatening infection of the uterus)
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Uterine cancer

These conditions can cause pain, discomfort, or behavioral changes in your pet. Spaying also removes the risk of false pregnancies, which can cause your dog to act as if she is pregnant when she is not.

Spaying your dog prevents health problems like breast and uterine cancer, as well as unwanted pregnancies and mood swings.

Photo by Robert Larsson on Unsplash

3 Factors That May Influence the Outcome of Spaying

While spaying can positively affect your female dog's behavior, there are no guarantees that she will become calmer or less aggressive. Other factors may influence your dog's reaction to the procedure, such as:

1. Age

The age at which you spay your dog can affect how much her behavior changes. Generally, the earlier you spay your dog, the more likely she is to become calmer and less aggressive. Because her hormones have not fully developed yet, she has not experienced the effects of heat cycles.

Some vets suggest waiting until dogs are six months old or have undergone one heat cycle before spaying them. This decision ensures that she has reached full physical and mental maturity and that spaying does not interfere with her growth or development.

2. Breed

Your dog's breed can also influence how she responds to spaying. Some breeds are naturally more energetic, active, or dominant than others, and spaying may not change that much.

For example, terriers, herding dogs, or working dogs may still have a solid drive to chase, bark, or protect their territory even after spaying.

On the other hand, some breeds are calmer, gentler, or more submissive by nature, and spaying may enhance these traits. For example, retrievers, spaniels, or companion dogs may become more affectionate, obedient, or relaxed after spaying.

A dog's breed and personality influence its behavior post-spaying due to temperament and peculiarities.

Photo by Ron Fung on Unsplash

3. Personality

Your dog's personality is another factor that can affect how she behaves after spaying. Every dog has its own temperament, preferences, and quirks. Some dogs are naturally more calm or aggressive than others, regardless of their sex or reproductive status.

  • Spaying may only change a little about your dog's personality if she already has a strong character or disposition.

Tips to Help Your Female Dog Calm Down After Spaying

If you decide to spay your female dog, there are some things you can do to help her calm down after the surgery and adjust to her new hormonal balance. Here are some tips:

1. Follow the Post-Operative Instructions

Your vet will give you specific care instructions to follow after surgery. This guidance may include the following:

  • Keeping her confined in a crate or a small room for a few days
  • Preventing her from licking or biting the incision site
  • Giving her pain medication or antibiotics as prescribed
  • Checking for signs of infection or complications
  • Bringing her back for a follow-up visit

Following your vet's instructions will help your dog heal faster and avoid unnecessary stress or discomfort.

2. Provide Mental Stimulation

Your dog may be bored or frustrated after the surgery, mainly if she is used to being active or playful. You could provide her with mental stimulation, such as:

  • Puzzle toys
  • Chew toys
  • Interactive games
  • Training sessions

These fun distractions will keep her mind busy and help her burn off some energy without putting too much strain on her body.

3. Reinforce Positive Behavior

Your dog may exhibit behavioral changes after spaying, such as being more clingy, needy, or vocal. This behavior is normal and usually temporary as your dog adjusts to a new hormonal state.

To help her cope, you could reinforce positive behaviors such as being calm, quiet, or independent. You might achieve this by:

  • Giving her praise, treats, or attention when she behaves well
  • Ignoring or redirecting her when she behaves poorly

This training technique will teach her what you expect from her and help her feel more secure and confident.

Spayed dogs need calmness and security, so reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior.

Image by Zigmars Berzins from Pixabay

View the original article to see embedded media.

Final Thoughts

Spaying can often calm a female dog, but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The procedure can reduce hormonal imbalances, prevent unwanted pregnancies, and lower the risk of health problems affecting your dog's behavior. But spaying may not significantly improve your pet's temperament, and you must consider other factors.

The best way to decide whether to spay your female dog is to consult your vet and weigh the pros and cons. Spaying is a responsible choice that can benefit your dog's health and well-being in the long run. Still, it's also a major surgery that requires careful consideration.

Sources and Further Reading

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2023 Louise Fiolek

(Excluding for the Headline, this article ("story") has not been edited by MiBiz News and is published from a web feed or sourced from the Internet.)