Will spaying or neutering affect my pet’s health in any way?
Yes, it will affect your pet’s health in a positive way. In females, spaying significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer and completely eliminates the danger of uterine and ovarian cancer. Neutering your male pet prevents testicular cancer and prostate problems. It will also help prevent serious health problems like hernias and perianal tumors.
What do “spay” and “neuter” really mean?
Female dogs and cats are spayed by removing their uterus and ovaries, and male dogs and cats are neutered by removing their testicles.
Isn’t it expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered?
The cost of the surgery depends on the sex, size, and age of the pet as well as your veterinarian’s fees plus a number of other variables.
Assistance to have the surgery done can be obtained at a reduced cost or even for free. Whatever the price, this is a one-time cost that is a small investment when compared to all of the benefits.
It’s a bargain compared to the cost of having a litter and ensuring the health of the mother and litter; two months of pregnancy and another two months until the litter is weaned can add up to significant veterinary bills with vaccines, deworming, food expenses, and additional costs if there are complications in the pregnancy.
Most important, it’s a very small price to pay for the health of your pet and the prevention of the births of more unwanted pets.
Will the surgery be painful for my pet?
Modern veterinary procedures and anesthetics offer no pain during surgery and only moderate discomfort afterwards. Your pet will be up and about after 24 hours, and will resume completely normal activity in about 48 hours. Most animals recover and heal much faster than people do.
How early can I have my pet spayed or neutered?
Having your female dog or cat spayed before 5 months will greatly decrease her chance of getting mammary cancer. It will eliminate the possibility that she will start having her own puppies or kittens when she is as young as five months. For male dogs and cats early neutering prevents testes cancer and eliminates or greatly decreases unwanted behaviors such as roaming, urine marking, fighting, and aggression.
Individual clinics will have different requirements on a minimum age, but some clinics will spay or neuter cats and dogs as young as 3 months.
Won’t my pets personality change?
If anything, your pets personality will change for the better. Females are more docile, and affectionate, and males are less likely to be aggressive and are more dedicated to their families because they no longer have the urge to roam to seek out potential mates. The benefits of a longer healthier life and a more positive personality are a win-win situation for both you and the dog.
What if I can find good homes for all the puppies and kittens?
You may find homes for all of your pet’s litter. But each home you find means one less home for the dogs and cats in shelters who also desperately need good homes.
Also, in less than one year’s time, each of your pet’s offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population. The problem of pet overpopulation is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.
Won’t it make my dog less protective?
Spay/Neuter does not affect a dog’s natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog’s personality comes from their genes and their environment, not from their sex hormones.
Will my male dog or cat feel like less of a male?
Pets don’t have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet’s basic personality. He doesn’t suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.
Will my pet get fat and lazy?
Spay/neuter will not affect your pet’s weight. If you are concerned about your pet gaining weight, the best thing you can do is to give them plenty of exercise and ask your veterinarian about the best food to keep them healthy and active.
Isn’t it better to have one litter first?
Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age. Check with your veterinarian about the appropriate time for these procedures.
But what if my pet is a purebred?
So is at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country. Many purebreds end up in shelters, despite how much a person has paid for them. Breeding is also very expensive and time consuming.
Ultimately, there are just too many dogs and cats—mixed breed and purebred. Plus, you dog or cat is one-of-a-kind. Wouldn’t you like to keep it that way?
But my dog (or cat) is so special. Can’t I have a puppy (or kitten) just like her?
A dog or cat may be a great pet, but that doesn’t mean their offspring will be a carbon copy. Even professional animal breeders who research generations of bloodlines can’t guarantee they will get just what they want out of a particular litter. In fact, an entire litter of puppies or kittens might receive all of a pet’s (and her mate’s) worst characteristics. If your dog or cat is truly special, isn’t it more important to make sure that they’ll be able to be with you for as long as possible by protecting their health?
- “Fixing” fixes a lot of issues!
- Sterilizing your cat/dog makes him/her a better pet, reducing his/her urge to roam and decreasing the risk of contracting diseases or getting hurt as they roam. Surveys indicate that as many as 85% of dogs hit by cars are unaltered. Intact male cats living outside have been shown to live on average less than two years. Feline Immunodeficiency Syndrome is spread by bites and intact cats fight a great deal more than altered cats.
- Your spayed female won’t go into heat.
- While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house!
- Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
- Don’t use that old excuse! Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.