Spaying or neutering your dog or cat is good for your pet’s health, for you as a caring pet owner and for your community. Spaying and neutering is recommended for all pets not intended for breeding.
The procedure has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of many animal diseases and cancers, as well as prevent many kinds of undesirable pet behaviors.
Below are some of the health and behavior benefits both you and your pet will receive after spaying and neutering.
- Spaying female dogs and cats generally eliminates the possibility of developing uterine or ovarian infections and cancers, and also greatly reduces the threat of mammary cancer.
- Neutering of males reduces the likelihood of prostate disease or cancer, and eliminates the risk of testicular cancer.
- Spaying females eliminates the irritability, aggressiveness, nervous whining, yowling and pacing behavior normally associated with the animal heat cycle which can often last many months during a year.
- Neutering male cats greatly reduces or eliminates territorial marking (spraying of urine on surfaces).
- Neutering also reduces excessive aggression in dogs and cats toward other animals. Thus, neutered dogs and cats will have a lower desire to fight others, resulting in fewer bite and scratch wounds and lessening the spread of contagious diseases.
- Male dogs and cats tend to stay home more after neutering because they no longer wander in search of a mate or for other males to fight with. Naturally, the risk of injury from traffic accidents or from fights with other animals is also lowered greatly.
- Because spayed and neutered pets are less aggressive and irritable, they are more likely to adapt to human households and turn their attention and affection towards their owners.
Millions of unwanted kittens and puppies are born in the U.S. every year because of pet owners who do not spay and neuter their pets. According to a national survey, most of the unwanted offspring – about 7 million cats and dogs – are euthanized in U.S. shelters each year. It takes your tax dollars to pay for the rising costs of animal control and animal sheltering programs, and to round up, house, euthanize, and dispose of unwanted, homeless animals. Spaying and neutering prevents unexpected or unwanted reproduction. Do your part to help end of cycle of death and destruction of homeless puppies and kittens.
Spaying and neutering is a one-time procedure with a one-time cost, but it is a relatively small cost when compared to all the benefits. The operation is performed under general anesthesia by a doctor of veterinary medicine and the procedure itself is not felt by the patient. There may be mild discomfort after the surgery, but most animals return to normal activity within 24 to 72 hours. The minimal and brief discomfort that may be experienced by some dogs and cats that are spayed or neutered can be easily lessened with post-operative pain medications. It is always best to spay dogs and cats while they are young and healthy. Many of the behavior benefits are also more noticeable if done at an early age.
Besides spaying and neutering to ensure that your pet is not responsible for unplanned or unwanted offspring and other problems, being a responsible pet owner means:
- Feeding your pet good food as well as developing healthy feeding habits. Also ensure a clean and adequate water supply.
- Learning about and providing overall good pet care.
- Establishing an ongoing relationship with a veterinarian.
- Vaccinating your pet against disease. Many serious pet diseases can be prevented by vaccination.
- Complying with local laws regarding licensing, roaming, leashes, etc.
- Taking precautions to prevent your pet from roaming free in the community. Again, spaying and neutering will help with this greatly. Just in case, still make sure to get a good collar and an accurate tag for your pet with pet’s name, your name, and at least a phone number.
- Loving and caring for your pet. Strengthen the bond between you and your pet through training, games, and other activity. The time you spend with your pet participating in activities together helps develop a long and rewarding relationship between you two. Finally, training and games stimulate and strengthen both your pet’s mind and body and help keep it occupied and out of trouble.
- Grooming and cleaning your pet when necessary. Remember that good hygiene helps prevent fleas, ticks, other disease-causing agents and also prevents many general diseases including the ones that can be passed between pet and owner!
Be a responsible pet owner – it benefits you, your pet and your community!