Young Puppy Care: Growth Plates and When You Should Spay/Neuter your Puppy

Growth Plates and Proper Exercise As A Puppy

Here’s a visual (below) on growth plate closures. It really helps knowing where each of the many growth plates are located. It makes it easy to see why we should not over-exercise our puppies. While these growth plates are still open, excessive (forced), exercise as a puppy could cause permanent damage.


Visual showing the many growth plate closures in a puppy.


What Is The Right Age For Spaying & Neutering Your  Puppy?

There are many challenging issues that come with raising a puppy,  especially a boy puppy.  Everything from humping to marking his territory, he can need a lot of watching over! However, with proper guidance you and your puppy can make it through this stage and survive without early neutering.

Sadly, most vets are advocates of early spay and neuter and will try to get you to book your appointment when you are at your 8 week well baby check-up.  But be informed!

Historically, Golden Retrievers’ most dominate genetic issues are cancer and hip dysplasia.  Ever lost a Golden to cancer?  Be sure to read and understand the study below that was published in 2013 by UC Davis.  UC Davis conducted a study on strictly Golden Retrievers and the effects of early spay and neuter have on them.  You may be surprised to find that if you spay or neuter your dog before the age of 2 you may be placing your dog at an increased risk for cancer and/or hip dysplasia.

To learn more, see these articles:

UC Davis Study

Plos One: Neutering Study