Desexing your dog, Kaipara District Council

Desexing your dog

​When you can get your dog de-sexed

  • Dogs can be de-sexed from six months of age.
  • If a female dog (bitch) is in season, de-sexing can be done four weeks after. To learn more about this, speak to your vet.

What you need to do

Book a de-sexing appointment with a vet. You can find a vet through the Yellow Pages.
Only a veterinarian is allowed to perform a de-sexing operation. To know more about surgical procedure offences and provisions, see the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Cost of de-sexing

The cost varies among vets.

What happens during and after de-sexing procedure

  • The vet will remove your dog's reproductive organs while it is under an anaesthetic.
  • You will be able to take your dog home the same day, unless the vet advises you otherwise. 

Benefits of de-sexing your dog

De-sexing does not change the personality of your dog. It makes them more sociable and easier to train and handle.

Health benefits

  • De-sexed dogs generally live longer, healthier lives and have a lower risk of getting various cancers and diseases of the reproductive organs.
  • Male dogs have no risk of testicular cancer.
  • De-sexing prevents the male dog's prostate gland from enlarging, removing their discomfort when urinating and defecating.
  • Female dogs (bitches) have a lower risk of getting mammary cancer, cystic ovaries, prostatic disease, perianal tumors, perianal hamias and acute uterine infections.
  • Bitches have no risk of pyometra, a life-threatening womb infection.
  • Bitches have a lower risk of false pregnancies (showing pregnancy symptoms without carrying puppies)

If you have a good reason not to de-sex your female dog, keep her securely confined when in season.

Behavioural benefits

  • Dogs are less likely to wander, roam or stray and are therefore less likely to be hurt in road accidents.
  • Dogs are less likely to be aggressive and are easier to train.
  • De-sexing will prevent male dogs from searching for bitches in season and fighting with other dogs.
  • Male dogs are less likely to behave anti-socially, e.g. mount people's legs and mark their territory.

De-sexing helps control overpopulation of dogs

De-sexing eliminates reproductive drive in dogs. This reduces the number of unwanted puppies.

Strays and surrendered animals can overpopulate animal shelters.