Why it’s Important to Spay or Neuter Your Pet
If we told you there was an insurance policy against dangerous cancers, would you take us up on the offer? When you spay or neuter your pet, not only are you reducing animal overpopulation, but you are also offering your pet benefits that stretch far into his or her future health.
A Decades-Long Discussion
In spite of the real and obvious advantages, spaying or neutering isn’t always the go-to choice for pet owners. While research from the last few decades proves how beneficial the procedure can be, perceived risks still run rampant among pet owners.
Permanent birth control is an obvious component of spaying or neutering, but diminished mating instincts are also definite boons to many pet owners. For example, “fixed” pets wander away from home less often, don’t spay or mark territory as much (if at all), behave less aggressively than their “intact” relatives, and are generally more calm around the home.
Additionally, other positive results from spaying or neutering your pet may include:
- An increased bond between you and your pet
- Heightened responsibility to your community and neighborhood
- The overall commitment to prevent cruelty and animal suffering
If that’s not convincing enough, consider that spaying or neutering your pet directly prevents:
- Mammary tumors
- Uterine and ovarian tumors
- Testicular cancer
- Pyometra (infection of the uterus) or hydrometra (fluid-filled uterus)
- Prostate enlargement, infection, and even cancer
Spay or Neuter Your Pet
The decision to spay or neuter your pet isn’t one to make lightly, but when you know the details, we hope it becomes an easy decision.
Ovariohysterectomy is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus in a female pet. Known as “spaying,” this procedure eliminates the pet’s ability to reproduce, future heat cycles, and as we mentioned above, many health problems.
Neutering involves the removal of both testicles in a male pet, effectively sterilizing him. Beyond removing the ability to mate, neutering helps eliminate unwanted behaviors, such as urine marking, wandering, and aggression.
We can help you find the best time to spay or neuter your pet, but generally, we follow these ideal guidelines:
- Healthy puppies can be spayed or neutered as early as 8 weeks old, but many pet owners wait until 6-9 months old. Overweight or older dogs, as well as those with certain health problems, face risks associated with the surgery.
- Healthy cats can also undergo this surgery as early as 8 weeks old. Many cats begin to show signs of mating behavior as young as 5 months old, making that an ideal time to schedule a procedure.
Deciding to spay or neuter your pet impacts his or her long-term health, but this procedure also affects your neighborhood and larger community. When your pet isn’t contributing to the overpopulation problem, you’re doing your part to reduce the burden on shelters and the impact of euthanasia.
If we can help you in your decision, please let us know!