If you are a pet owner, one of the first things you should have or should be considering is the spaying or neutering of your pet. Now, don’t get us wrong…we love puppies and kittens just as much as you do and we understand how fun and adorable a new litter of furry, four-legged babies is! There are so many more things to consider along this topic, though. The decision to spay or neuter your pet will have a huge effect on their overall long-term health and welfare.
The first and most obvious reason to spay or neuter is to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. In every community, there are homeless animals, and unfortunately, the majority of them are the puppies and kittens of cherished family pets and even purebreds. Some of these animals may be adopted out from shelters, but tragically, over half of them are euthanized every single year. Spaying and neutering is the ONLY permanent and 100% effective method of birth control for dogs and cats.
Aside from being sure you will not be a contributor to the pet over-population, there are other benefits to spaying and neutering your pet. Medical evidence has indicated that females spayed before their first heat and males that are neutered around 6 months of age are typically healthier. Unspayed female dogs and cats have a greater chance of developing fatal uterine infections, uterine cancer, and other cancers of the reproductive system. Neutering your male pets eliminate their chances of getting testicular cancer and decreases their chance of developing prostate cancer. Both male and female dogs and cats that are left intact are more prone to urinary tract infections. Male cats have increased chances of their urethra becoming “blocked”, which is a life threatening situation. Unaltered pets, especially males, will also have an increased desire to “roam”, exposing them to fights with other animals, getting struck by cars, and other mishaps along the way. Having your pet (your dog) spayed or neutered will not change their fundamental personality, such as their instinct to protect or do their job.
Urine-marking is a prominent (and might we add, very unattractive) characteristic of unneutered dogs and cats. Although males are the more likely “markers”, females may do it also. Neutering your cat between 4-6 months of age is the easiest solution to solving a problem before it has started. Neutering, even in cats that have been “spraying” for a while, solves approximately 90% of all marking issues. It can even help to minimize “howling” and the urge to roam and fight with other males.
We understand that cost is sometimes a factor in one’s decision to spay or neuter their pet. However, when long-term potential costs of an unaltered pet are factored in, the savings that will be afforded by spay/neuter are very clear. If the cost is still an issue, ask your veterinarian about any low-cost spay/neuter clinics in your area.
Your spayed or neutered pet will have a better chance at a longer, healthier, and happier life!