There are many good reasons to desex your dog. It reduces the risk of certain cancers, stops unwanted litters and makes it less likely your dog will roam. It is mandatory in South Australia.

All dogs born after 1 July 2018 must be desexed by a registered veterinary surgeon:

  • before it is 6 months of age; or
  • within 28 days after the owner takes possession of the dog; or
  • if the owner is granted an extension of time, before the day specified in the exemption.


There are desexing exemptions for the following animals:

  • Dogs born before 1 July 2018;
  • Dogs owned by a Dogs and Cats Online registered breeder;
  • Dogs owned by a member of Dogs SA;
  • Dogs defined as a ‘working livestock dog’ as per the Act;
  • Greyhounds currently registered as racing greyhounds with Greyhound Racing SA (retired greyhounds are not exempt).

Vets may grant an exemption from the requirement to desex a dog if:

  • the procedure poses an undue risk to the health of the dog or,
  • if it will adversely affect the dog’s growth, development or wellbeing.

Speak to your vet if you have concerns about desexing your dog.

Discount desexing

The National Desexing Network offers low cost desexing to concession card holders on application. Application forms and a directory of participating vets in South Australia can be found on their website.