Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the most important health choices you can make for your furry friend. Spaying is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the removal of the ovaries and uterus from a female cat or dog, whereas neutering involves removing the testicles from a male pet. Both procedures have a significant impact on the long term health of your pet and can even help to eliminate unwanted behaviours. There are even benefits of spaying or neutering your pet to the community at large. So what are the main reasons to spay or neuter?
Whether you are spaying a female pet or neutering your male pet, there are distinct health benefits. First and foremost, spayed females live a longer, healthier life. Spaying not only helps prevent uterine infections, but also reduces the risk of breast cancer. With respect to neutering your pet, there are health benefits for males as well. Neutering your male pet eliminates the risk of testicular cancer the risk of testicular cancer. Perhaps the most obvious health benefit for spaying or neutering your pet is the fact that you will avoid unwanted pregnancies. Spayed females will not go into heat to attract male partners which also has benefits for the pet owner. Indeed, when female cats go into heat their behaviour changes and they cry or yowl more often and may even urinate in inappropriate places.
The health benefits of spaying or neutering your pets are among the most common reasons cited for having the procedures done, but there are also distinct behavioural benefits as well. For example, neutered pets are less likely to run away from home. Intact males can be very persistent about finding a mate and will go to great measures to escape your house or yard. Once free, male pets are at a greater risk of injury in traffic or from fights with other animals. Moreover, neutered males are less likely to “mark their territory” through spraying or urinating. Even aggressive behaviours are less common in neutered males.
The decision to not spay or neuter your pet not only contributes to the problem of overpopulation of pets (which ultimately results in millions of pets being destroyed at animal shelters every year), but also contributes to problems associated with stray animals. Stray cats and dogs may prey on wildlife, destroy fauna, and even put people (especially children) at risk. Spaying and neutering are cost-effective methods of controlling pet populations and also keeping your beloved cat or dog in good health. Unless you plan to actively breed your pet, you should consult your local animal shelter or your veterinarian for more information about spaying or neutering your pet.