Mustafa Rangoonwala

Sep 26, 2021

9 min read

When To Neuter A Labrador Retriever?

To be a Labrador retriever owner, you must prioritize your dog’s needs before your own. When it comes to satisfying the obligation of caring for the pup’s well-being, Labradors necessitate significant long-term time commitments. Feeding your Lab at the appropriate time, ensuring it gets plenty of exercises, and scheduling a neuter appointment at the appropriate age are just a few of your obligations.

Neutering is a medical treatment that involves physically removing the testicles from male dogs, hence removing their ability to reproduce. In this day and age, attitudes toward neutering vary greatly from country to country. Following are a few examples of whether neutering is meant to be a beneficial thing for all dogs or whether it would cause more harm than good.

When is the best time to neuter your Labrador retriever?

Though neutering Labradors has proven to be quite advantageous over the years, you must have the process done at a suitable age since this can represent a major threat to your Labrador’s health. Many vets believe that neutering your Labrador puppy while it is only six months old is preferable. However, one study found that neutering a Labrador at this age increases the probability of joint issues and, in certain cases, may even cause cancer.

According to the American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation, it’s probably ideal if your Labrador retriever is neutered after puberty, which occurs between the ages of 9 and 15 months.

The Advantages of Neutering Your Labrador Retriever

There are numerous health benefits of neutering your Labrador retriever. Some examples might be:

Birth control: Many dog owners believe that it is their responsibility to neuter their Labrador retrievers at an appropriate age in order to prevent the birth of puppies. Though there are various different procedures to ensure that Labs do not breed throughout their lives, neutering is widely accepted as a popular, permanent way to stop reproduction. Neutering your Lab can help to reduce overcrowding and put an end to dangerous breeding practices.

Reduces health risks: Studies have indicated that neutering a Labrador can help it live a longer life. Male Labs have a life expectancy of 13.8 percent, whereas female Labs have a life expectancy of 26.3 percent. A gonadectomy is a surgical treatment that not only neuters your Labrador but also lengthens his or her life. It also lowers the chance of Pyometra, a potentially fatal uterine infection that is common in Labs. Neutering can also help to decrease testicular cancer in men and cervical cancer in women.

For behavioral reasons: Many Labrador retriever owners believe that neutering is the best way to enhance their dogs’ temperament. Because male Labrador retrievers begin to exhibit undesired behaviors such as mounting, roaming, and hostility towards other dogs or family members as they reach adulthood, neutering is regarded as the best available strategy for reducing these erratic tendencies.

Reduces sexual behavior: Because testosterone levels drop after neutering, the Labrador’s propensity to be attracted to female dogs is moderately reduced, which eliminates roaming, masturbating, and mounting.

Reduces aggressive behavior: Castration has been shown to be an effective strategy in removing certain forms of aggression caused by the presence of testosterone. Furthermore, neutering your Labrador eliminates the possibility of aggressive hereditary features being passed along.

The dangers of neutering your Labrador retriever

The effectiveness of retrospective investigations has led specialists to feel that there is no conclusive evidence that neutering your male dogs will assist in preventing all health issues. The following are some of the reasons why neutering your Labrador may be harmful to his or her health:

Obesity risk: When your Labrador retriever is neutered, it gradually loses its metabolism and, as a result, becomes chubby. According to research, neutered animals require no more than 25% of their body weight in calories to sustain a balanced diet. As a result, if a pet owner wishes to have his pet neutered, he must first change his dog’s diet.

Growth issues: Veterinarians always urge dog owners to neuter their Labrador retrievers once they reach adolescence. The reason for this is that hormones play a critical role in your Labrador’s growth and development. Early neutering of your Labrador can cause the closure of the growth plate to be delayed, resulting in a growth spurt in a Labrador at an early age. Later in life, the dog is more likely to develop joint problems.

Hypothyroidism risk due to hormonal imbalance: Hypothyroidism is a medical disorder induced by a hormonal imbalance following castration. This eventually disrupts your Labrador’s metabolism, body temperature, and heartbeat rates.

Neutering is a surgical procedure performed by veterinarians to assist in the de-sexing of a Labrador. Before performing this surgery on Labradors, vets primarily utilize general anesthetic to render them asleep. As a result, doctors have determined that at least 20% of castration surgeries performed to have at least one problem as a result of the use of general anesthesia, which affects your Labrador in the form of an infection or an abscess. Fortunately, the majority of problems caused by general anesthesia are minor, with less than 5% being significant. Also, while the death rate from general anesthesia in Labradors is less than 1%, this does not necessarily imply that it is fully safe.

Various techniques of neutering:

Neutering is one of the oldest consistently practiced surgeries in the modern era. There was a time when neutering was simply a medical treatment to assist in the de-sexing of a dog. However, there are currently various neutering treatments available to make a Lab infertile. They are as follows:

Male Labrador retrievers are customarily castrated surgically, with vets making a small incision in their scrotum to physically remove male testicles. Surgical castration is an effective method of birth control since dogs recover rapidly and become infertile in a few months. However, it is a permanent surgery that cannot be reversed.

Chemical castration: A novel and effective method of neutering your Labrador is chemical castration. This treatment involves injecting a substance called Zeuterin into your dog’s testicles. Though this chemical may result in infertility in your Labrador, it is not as successful as surgical castration because it may not result in complete infertility. For Labs, this treatment is widely regarded as reversible. As a result, some dog owners explore chemical castration as a test run before committing to surgical castration.

The consequences of neutering a dog

Aside from rendering your Labrador sterile, neutering has a number of other consequences. Some examples are:

The physical look of a neutered male Labrador will be devoid of testicles. Due to the absence of the dog’s testicles, a male can be mistaken for a female. As a result, Lab owners who prefer to see their dogs with all of their parts intact do not want to have their canines neutered. To address this, one might choose fake testicle implants, also known as nautical, for their Lab to maintain them appearing the same.

Behavioral changes: Changes in the behavior of a neutered Labrador are unpredictable. Certain habits, however, tend to decline when testosterone levels fall. Constant piddling, i.e., cocking its leg every five minutes, loud behavior, and roaming are a few examples of decreases.

Things to do and not do for your neutered dog

After neutering a Labrador retriever, the owner must remain by its side and provide proper care. Though most Labs recover rapidly on their own, there are a few techniques that owners can use to speed up the recovery process. Among them are:

After-care: When you bring your neutered Lab home from the vet, you may notice that he appears sadder or more bewildered than usual. This is due to the fact that Labradors typically remain silent for the first 24 hours following castration, i.e., until the effects of the anesthetic wear off. During this time, the owner must provide a calm environment for the Labrador, as well as a comfy bed and a comfortable room temperature.

Food and water: After bringing your neutered Lab home, you must provide him with tiny amounts of water. If you allow your Lab to drink too much water, he will vomit. It is then critical to give your Lab some time to recover before feeding it. After the 24-hour interval, you can resume routine feeding and watering of your Lab.

Medication: Long-term pain relievers are administered by veterinarians to Labradors during the surgical castration treatment. The medication’s effects continue for roughly 24–36 hours. As a result, it is common for veterinarians to prescribe pain relievers for your Lab at this time. You must carefully follow all of the veterinarian’s recommendations and not use the human medication in your Lab to compensate for the drugs in the prescription, as this may endanger your pet’s health.

Bathroom habits: If your Labrador does not urinate sufficiently within 72 hours after surgery, you must contact your veterinarian immediately. An owner must also ensure that their Lab’s pee does not contain any blood.

Activity levels: It usually takes 24–48 hours following surgery to get your Lab back to normal. Nonetheless, one should postpone Lab activities for at least a week after surgery. The reason for this is that excessive exercise may result in an opening of the operation site. As a result, an owner must ensure that his Lab is not allowed to travel to particular areas of the house, that he is only allowed to walk his dog for limited amounts of time, and that he is not allowed to engage or play rough with other animals.

I’m not sure if I should castrate my dog.

Given that castrating a Labrador retriever can result in infertility (albeit not immediately), neutering should be regarded as an essential decision for the owner to make in regard to his Lab. Neutering is not a decision that a Lab owner should take lightly because it is not always regarded as a perfect option that is appropriate for every Lab. In general, Lab owners opt to neuter their dog for two reasons: good health and undesired behavior.

If a Lab owner has no concerns with his male Labrador’s conduct (his dog does not exhibit behavioral problems like cocking his leg on things, aggressive behavior towards other male dogs, or sexual tendencies like mounting or wandering), there is no reason for him to neuter his dog. However, if a few dog owners do not want their Lab to contribute to a large number of unwanted babies (prevent Lab overpopulation), or if they wish to safeguard their Lab from various medical concerns, they can have their dog neutered.

To aid in their decision-making process, explore the numerous benefits and drawbacks of neutering male Labs. Nonetheless, if a person has second thoughts about it, he can always consult with his Lab’s veterinarian to find the best answer.

Neutering in various nations

Many countries require Labrador retrievers to be castrated at an early age. When Lab owners fail to neuter their pets on time, they are viewed as irresponsible in these countries. For example, in Los Angeles, a Labrador must be sterilized before the age of four months. Neutering is a common technique in countries such as Australia and the United States.

Furthermore, these countries have been planning a widespread neutering program for decades. Aside from that, some areas regard neutering as an objectionable treatment. In Norway, for example, it is regarded as undesirable to neuter your dog unless there are valid medical reasons (birth control is not considered a valid reason). Neutering is not universally practiced in countries such as the United Kingdom and India.

Although many Labradors are neutered, there are a significant number of dogs who are not.


Neutering is one of the most popular surgical operations performed on dogs all over the world. Labrador owners choose to neuter to minimize unexpected pregnancies, lower the risk of illnesses and malignancies, and control behavioral concerns such as humping and roaming. Aside from the positives, a Lab owner must also weigh the drawbacks. Though neutering is helpful for Labs, doing it at a young age can cause growth issues.

Furthermore, neutering increases the dog’s chances of obesity and hypothyroidism. As a result, neutering is neither totally useful nor entirely worthless. Its motivation and necessity simply differ from person to person.

As a result, it is recommended that a dog owner first consults with a reputable veterinarian about his Lab’s options. In this post, we will go over the neutering surgery for a Labrador retriever, the age to consider when neutering a Lab, the benefits of neutering a Lab, the risks associated with neutering, the effects of neutering, and much more.

Originally published at