I get asked about this often, so I am adding a new question to our FAQ page. It’s so important that I decided to make a blog post about it as well, with some more information.
Why do we recommend waiting until your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy is over 12 months to spay or neuter? Wouldn’t Bob Barker be upset?
There are a lot of health and behavior dangers associated with spaying too young. It is best to wait until 18 months when all the growth plates have closed. It is the sex hormones that tell bones how to grow and when to stop growing.
We can tell a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was spayed too young on first sight. They grow taller and leggier with shaggy coats. I can’t imagine that a human would grow properly without hormone therapy if she received a full hysterectomy before puberty.
One recent study showed double the incidence of hip dysplasia in early neutered males compared with intact males. (This study was just males) In females, we know that early spaying impairs the development of the urinary tract and leads to urinary incontinence. For more detailed scientific study, please read this document: Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay / Neuter in Dogs.
A little bit of inconvenience now will give your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy a longer, healthier life.