By spaying or neutering your pet, you’ll help control the pet homelessness crisis. Millions of healthy dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States each year simply because there aren’t enough homes to go around. There are also medical and behavioral benefits to spaying (female pets) and neutering (male pets).
Here are some of the medical benefits:
- Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life. Spaying prevents uterine infections and decreases the incidence of breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
- Neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems.
And behavioral benefits:
- Your spayed female pet 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!
- Your male dog will be less likely to roam away from home. An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate, including finding creative ways escape from the house. Once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other animals.
- Your neutered male may be better behaved. Unneutered dogs and cats are more likely to mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Your dog might be less likely to mount other dogs, people and inanimate objects after he’s neutered. Some aggression problems may be avoided by early neutering.
Spaying/neutering your pets is also highly cost-effective. The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is far less than the cost of having and caring for a litter.
Debunking Spay/Neuter Myths and Misconceptions
- Spaying or neutering will not cause your pet to become overweight. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim if you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
- Neutering is not a quick fix for all behavior problems. Although neutering your pet often reduces undesirable behaviors caused by a higher level of testosterone, there’s no guarantee that your dog’s behavior will change after he’s neutered. Although the surgery will reduce the amount of testosterone in your dog’s system, it won’t eliminate the hormone completely. Neutering will also not reduce behaviors that your pet has learned or that have become habitual. The effects of neutering are largely dependent on your dog’s individual personality, physiology and history.
When to Spay or Neuter Your Pet
- For dogs: While the traditional age for neutering is six to nine months, healthy puppies as young as eight weeks old can be neutered. Dogs can be neutered as adults as well, although there’s a slightly higher risk of post-operative complications in older dogs, dogs that are overweight or dogs that have health problems.
- For cats: It is generally considered safe for kittens as young as eight weeks old to be spayed or neutered. To potentiially avoid the start of urine spraying and eliminate the chance for pregnancy, it’s advisable to schedule the surgery before your cat reaches five months of age. It’s possible to spay a female cat while she’s in heat.
Talk to your veterinarian to determine the best time to spay or neuter your pet.
Helping Your Pet Before and After Surgery
Your veterinary clinic will provide pre-surgical advice that you should follow. In general, avoid giving your adult dog or cat any food after midnight the night before surgery. A puppy or kitten, however, needs adequate nutrition, and your veterinarian may advise that food not be withheld.
Your veterinarian can also provide post-operative instructions for you to follow. Although your pet may experience some discomfort after surgery, your veterinarian can take measures to control pain. Depending on the procedure performed, medication for pain may be sent home with your pet.
Here are tips for a safe and comfortable recovery:
- Provide your pet with a quiet place to recover indoors and away from other animals.
- Prevent your pet from running and jumping for up to two weeks following surgery, or as long as your veterinarian recommends.
- Prevent your pet from licking the incision site, which may cause infection, by using a well fitted Elizabethan collar.
- Avoid bathing your pet for at least ten days after surgery.
- Check the incision site daily to confirm proper healing.
The top ten reasons to spay a bitch or male dog as soon as they are mature enough to do so:
1. Eliminate their territorial and aggressive behavior
In both males and females, territorial and dominant behavior is related to the nature of the animal and to certain problems of anxiety or insecurity that may arise, but this is greatly exacerbated by the terminal level of sex hormones in the blood . In females, said aggressiveness is primarily manifested in the middle of the period between heat and heat; in males, when the smell of a female in heat is in the air or other dominant males are present.
Sex hormones are secreted by glands connected to the reproductive organs, so by eliminating them we decrease the levels of these hormones in the blood – in females we eliminate fever – and we achieve a significant decrease in territorial and aggressive behavior, especially in females. the most dominant individuals. This is evidenced in a study by Ludwig-Maximilian University .
2. We reduce anxiety.
Although they may be a source of aggression, sex hormones also cause anxiety in dogs, especially in males, whose secretion levels are more constant. With genitalia removed, a dog’s anxiety is greatly reduced. It’s true that this means less activity and may lead to overweight , but this can be countered with a balanced diet and more exercise outdoors. Just because he’s neutered doesn’t mean that our pet doesn’t want to play or go for walks and runs. He would just be calmer at home.
3. Preventing psychological disorders in women
The habit of taking dolls or objects such as socks and adopting them as infants indicates that the female suffers from a psychological and hormonal disorder, which involves unnecessary suffering due to heat and lack of pregnancy. The same happens with the production of milk or a false pregnancy. Our dog has a hard time with all these disorders, as they are all eliminated by neutering.
4. we eliminate the chances of malignant tumors of the genitals.
We eliminate the risk of uterine cancer in females and testicular cancer in males, not only by removing these organs but also by reducing hormone levels in the blood. It should be kept in mind that because of the genetic selection they have undergone, often prioritizing aesthetic or functional features over health, dogs are more prone to suffer from all types of tumors than humans. Therefore, anything that means reducing said risk is recommended.
5. Vaginal infections and irritations in women are greatly reduced.
After bloody discharge Vaginitis and discharge from the heat is very common in unsterilized bitches and is usually the source of infections and irritations if we do not observe extreme hygiene. When heat is eliminated, these types of problems become very rare.
6. We avoid prostate problems in men
Because of the lack of testicles, adult men’s exposure to prostate cancer is greatly reduced.
7. We reduce the risk of breast cancer in women
Lower exposure to sex hormones due to sterilization leads to a significantly lower risk of breast cancer in females.
8. Limiting the problem of unwanted offspring
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , a massive and organized campaign to sterilize domestic dogs will completely eliminate the problem of abandoned animals in large Third World cities, where it is a public health and hygiene problem. And, of course, it would put an end to the suffering of animals living on the streets without love and care because they were born to unwanted litters of unsterilized parents. The best way to empty the kennels of sad and lonely dogs is to prevent more from being born than we can take care of.
9. Reducing the risk of shedding in male dogs
A significant percentage of male dogs get lost following the scent of a female in heat, whether she is present or has left her mark in the area. If the dog stays and sniffs unnoticed or decides to go in search of the scent host, she will get lost, and then both she and we will get a good scare. Removing her ovaries makes her immune to heat hormones.
10. Extending an animal’s life.
According to a meta-study of 40,000 spayed dogs published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research in 2013, the aforementioned benefits of spaying come down to an average of 24 percent longer life compared to a dog or dog that is not spayed.
MYTHS AND FACTS
Myth: My pet will get fat and lazy.
Fact: The truth is that most fat and lazy pets are because their owners feed too much and don’t give them enough exercise.
Myth: It is better to have a litter first.
Fact: Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, evidence shows that female dogs spayed before their first heat cycle are typically healthier. Many veterinarians spay dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age.
Myth: I want my children to experience the miracle of birth.
Fact: Even if children are able to see a pet give birth – which is unlikely, since it usually occurs at night and in solitude – they actually learn that animals can be created, and discarded, as adults see fit. Instead, it should be explained to children that the real miracle is life and that preventing the birth of some pets can save the lives of others.
Myth: I want my dog to be protective.
Fact: Spaying or neutering does not affect a dog’s natural instinct to protect the home and family. A dog’s personality is shaped more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.
Myth: But my pet is purebred.
Fact: That’s why at least one in four pets are taken to animal shelters around the country. There are too many dogs and cats – purebred and mixed breed alike.
Myth: I don’t want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.
Fact: Pets have no concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet’s basic personality. It does not suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.
Myth: But my dog (or cat) is so special. I want your puppy (or kitten) to be just like him/her.
Fact: A dog or cat can be a great pet, but that doesn’t mean their offspring will be a carbon copy. In fact, a litter of puppies or kittens could all receive worse characteristics.
Myth: But it is very expensive to have my pet spayed/neutered.
Fact: There are many affordable spay/neuter options in our community. Check out the resources we have made available to you. Whatever the actual price, spay/neuter surgery is a one-time cost – a relatively small cost compared to the cost of having a litter and providing for the health of the litter’s mother; two months of pregnancy and another two months until the litter is weaned can add up to significant veterinary bills and food costs especially if complications arise. Most importantly, it is a very small price to pay for the health of your pet and the prevention of the most unwanted pet births.
Myth: I will find good homes for all puppies and kittens.
Fact: You can find a good home for all of your pet’s litters. However, every home you find means one less home for the dogs or cats you have in shelters that need a good home. On top of that, in less than a year, each of your pet’s offspring can have a litter of their own adding even more animals to the population. The problem of overpopulation. The problem of pet overpopulation is created and perpetuated.