Spay & Neutering Services
We offer early-life spay/neutering services for dogs and cats. It is a safe and effective way to help reduce pet overpopulation in our community.
When and at what age should I have my pet spayed?
When deciding the best time to spay or neuter your cat, you should always consult with your veterinarian. They will help you determine what is best for your pet depending on their age and breed. Some research has shown that there are benefits to spaying or neutering dogs once they've already gone through puberty. Female pets can be spayed starting at five months old, but keep in mind that some research suggests that this might be too young if they haven't developed fully. There's also evidence that spaying female cats before their first heat cycle helps reduce their risk of pyometra (womb infection) and mammary tumors. Due to these variables, it's best to speak with your veterinarian before making an appointment.
Why should I get my cat spayed or neutered?
There are numerous benefits to spaying or neutering your cat. In males, neutering helps decrease fighting with other male cats, urine spraying, and other territory-marking behaviors. It also makes outdoor cats less likely to stray far away. Spayed female cats have a lower risk of contracting a potential uterine infection and might be less prone to developing mammary cancer. In many cases, spaying or neutering could even make your cat more affectionate.
Aside from the health-related reasons to spay or neuter your cat, there are other complementary benefits to your community. Affordable spay and neuters reduce the number of stray pregnant cats who go on to have stray kittens and prevent unwanted litters that cat parents aren't prepared to care for. This, in turn, helps reduce pet overpopulation, which lessens the burden on overcrowded shelters. Spaying and neutering our pets decreases the number of feral cats roaming around.
Why should I get my dog spayed or neutered?
Neutering male dogs tends to reduce spraying and marking, straying and roaming, and aggression toward other dogs. In addition to improved behavior, a spay or neuter service for your dog also helps reduce the risk of testicular cancer. Like female cats, dogs also benefit from spaying, as it can reduce the risk of contracting uterine infections and cancer. Due to these various advantages, spay-neuter surgeries can help increase the lifespan of your pet, so they can lead a longer and happier life by your side.
In addition, spaying and neutering is one of the best ways to reduce the number of unwanted pets on the streets and in local humane societies, especially if your pup frequents dog parks or other shared spaces.
Find a Papaya Pet Clinic nearest you!
Carmel Valley, SD - Coming Soon!
5980 Village Way Suite B104
San Diego, CA 92130
West LA - Coming Soon!
11419 Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Encinitas - Coming Soon!
485 Santa Fe Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024
Will my pet feel anything during the procedure?
During the procedure, your pet will be under anesthesia and will not feel any pain. Before and after their operation, our trained veterinary staff will treat your pet to a Fear Free® experience, calmly welcoming them into the operating room, preparing them for surgery, and assisting with their post-op recovery.
What should I know about the recovery process for my pet?
Neutering procedures are less complicated than spaying, and your newly neutered pet will usually be able to come home the same day. Some may need to stay overnight for monitoring, but either way, the typical recovery time is between seven and 14 days.
For both spaying and neutering, your pet will likely need to wear a collar or cone to prevent them from licking the surgical site, which can cause infection. You should closely monitor your pet in the days following the surgery to make sure they stay safe. Once your pet is all healed up, we'll remove the stitches and let them get back to their regularly scheduled playing, romping, cuddling, and more.
Will my pet gain weight after the procedure?
We're happy to debunk the myth that spaying or neutering your pet will cause them to gain weight. You may notice a touch of weight gain since your pet won't be as active immediately following their surgery, but this is only the result of a temporary lifestyle change. In general, young animals will naturally gain weight as they grow into adults, not as a result of spaying and neutering services.
What are the restrictions after a dog is spayed or neutered?
For the health and safety of your dog, you'll want to restrict all rambunctious activity until they've fully healed—this can be as many as 14 days after the appointments. Clear your pup's schedule of all jumping, running, climbing stairs, tug-of-war, doggy playdates, and long walks. You'll also want to use an Elizabethan collar (affectionately named the "cone of shame") to prevent licking while the wounds from the spay or neuter surgery heal. Thankfully, cuddles, kisses, and careful belly rubs are still fair game.
How long should you stay with your dog after spaying?
You'll want to keep a pretty close eye on your dog's wellness after surgery. While they may be too drowsy and tired to get into much trouble during the first few days, you should definitely watch them carefully as they start to regain their energy. They may feel like they can run, jump, and play again, but they shouldn't—otherwise, they risk ripping their stitches. Plan to stick close to your pet for 10–14 days after they've been spayed and put a stop to excess movement or any wound licking.
How do you know if something is wrong after spaying?
Spaying is a frequently practiced, relatively low-risk operation. Still, there are warning signs to watch out for in the days and weeks following surgery, including:
- Redness, swelling, or bursting at the wound
- Bleeding or excess discharge from the incision
- Behavioral signs of pain (whimpering, shaking, avoiding touch)
- Vomiting or diarrhea after 24 hours post-op
- Lasting lethargy after a few days