How to Tell if a Female Dog has Been Spayed

Spaying a female dog is part of responsible pet ownership, and has been a proven practice that not only controls the unwanted pet population, but also the health and well-being of your female dog. If you have recently adopted a female dog and are unsure as to whether or not she has been spayed, a visual assessment can usually confirm the situation.

Roll your dog over and rub her belly to make her feel comfortable. Sometimes dogs will find your efforts to poke around and examine them to be a bit of a nuisance, so lessening her anxiety will allow for a more thorough investigation.

Check her abdomen area and look for a scar that runs vertically down her stomach. Since spays are performed by removing the uterus and ovaries, this is the logical location. The scar can be found anywhere between the base of her teats, to just above the top of the genital area.

Shave her belly with an electric pet razor to remove hair that may inhibit the visibility of a spay scar. If your dog has an abundance of hair growth in the area that generally contains a spay scar, this method may make the scar more visible. But be careful while shaving because the skin in this area is very sensitive.

Rub your dog’s abdomen with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. If you are not sure that what you are seeing is a spay scar, gently rubbing the area with a cotton ball containing rubbing alcohol can make the scar more pronounced, confirming its existence.

Take your dog to the veterinarian for a definitive answer. Veterinarians can do a physical exam and an ultrasound to confirm whether your female dog has been spayed. In most cases, the ultrasound will be able to view the internal cavity of the abdomen area, which will show the missing uterus and ovaries.


You may find it easiest to look for a spay scar during a bathing and grooming session. While brushing your dog and speaking to her softly, you may be able to get a better glimpse of her belly.


If you are unsure as to whether or not a scar on your female dog’s abdomen is from a spay surgery, ask your veterinarian for input. Scars can also be left behind during hernia surgery or prior caesarean surgery. Never assume that a newly adopted female dog is spayed just because the owner’s have informed you that it is so. Without definitive knowledge of the dog’s prior surgical history, you may find yourself with an unwanted litter of puppies. It is best to have the dog fully examined by a licensed veterinarian to make sure that she is not only healthy, but indeed spayed.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric pet razor
  • Cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol
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About the Author

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.