Find out why spaying or neutering your pet is so important. Become a responsible pet owner and help curb unwanted breeding and stray overpopulation.
Submitted by PetFinderAdmin on 2010-10-29
Spaying is a general term used to describe the ovariohysterectomy of a female animal. Neutering is a general term used to describe the castration of a male animal. However, neutering is often used in reference to both genders. The surgical procedure, performed by a veterinarian, renders the animal incapable of reproducing. Here are answers to some questions you may have about this beneficial procedure.
Top 10 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet
1. Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life.
Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal 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.
2. Neutering provides major health benefits for your male.
Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
3. 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 frequentlyâ€”sometimes all over the house!
4. Your male dog won't want to roam away from home.
An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he's free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males.
5. Your neutered male will be much better behaved.
Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
6. Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
Donâ€™t use that old excuse! Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra poundsâ€”not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
7. It is highly cost-effective.
The cost of your pet's spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray!
8. Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community.
Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets.
9. Your pet doesn't need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth.
Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your childrenâ€”especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters. There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.
10. Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation.
Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
Questions & Answers
When can I have this procedure done?
Both procedures can safely be performed at as early as 8 weeks of age. American Humane is a strong proponent of juvenile or pediatric spay/neuter since it is both healthy for pets and effectively reduces pet overpopulation.
Why should I have my pet neutered?
Animal shelters, both public and private, are faced with an incredible burden: What to do with the overpopulation of dogs and cats that they cannot find homes for? Approximately 3.7 million animals are euthanized at shelters each year, due to the sheer fact that there are not enough willing adopters. Having your pet spayed or neutered ensures that you will not be adding to this tremendous burden.
What are some of the health and behavioral benefits?
Through neutering, you can help your dog or cat live a happier, healthier, longer life. Spaying eliminates the constant crying and nervous pacing of a female cat in heat. Spaying a female dog also eliminates the messiness associated with the heat cycle.
Neutering of male dogs and cats can prevent certain undesirable sexual behaviors, such as urine marking, humping, male aggression and the urge to roam. If you have more than one pet in your household, all the pets will generally get along better if they are neutered.
A long-term benefit of spaying and neutering is improved health for both cats and dogs. Spaying females prior to their first heat cycle nearly eliminates the risk of breast cancer and totally prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer. Neutering males prevents testicular cancer and enlargement of the prostate gland, and greatly reduces their risk for perianal tumors.
Neutering just costs too much!
The cost of caring for a pet, including providing veterinary care, should be considered before acquiring an animal. Many animal shelters offer low-cost spay/neuter services, and there are also many low-cost spay/neuter clinics across the country. To find low-cost options in your area, call your local animal shelter. The reality is that the cost associated with providing adequate care for just one litter of puppies or kittens is often more than the cost of spaying or neutering. The cost of feeding, worming and first vaccinations for a litter can be upwards of RM600 - RM1000. You must also consider that there could be complications with the birth that require hospitalization or surgery. You will also be faced with finding good homes for the offspring yourself or placing more animals into your local shelter. The cost of the well-being of not just your companion animal, but of future generations, should be considered.
Can't I allow my purebred dog to have just one litter?
Mixed breed or purebred -- there just arenâ€™t enough homes. Purebred animals also often end up in shelters. In fact, 25 percent of shelter dogs are purebreds. Responsible purebred breeders have homes for their potential litters before they breed.
I don't even own a pet! Why is this my problem?
All of us are affected by animal overpopulation. Millions of tax dollars are spent annually to shelter and care for stray, abandoned and unwanted pets. Much of that money is spent to euthanize these animals when homes cannot be found. Human health is threatened by the danger of transmittable diseases (including rabies), animal bites and attacks. Property may be damaged and livestock killed when pets roam in search of food. Animal waste is proving to be a serious environment hazard, fouling yards and parks. It is only when all of us assume the responsibility for pet overpopulation that we will see any decrease in the problem.
Isn't it wrong to deprive an animal of the natural right to reproduce?
No, itâ€™s wrong to allow these animals to reproduce millions of unwanted offspring that are eventually killed because there arenâ€™t enough responsible homes.
If I find homes for my pet's litters, then I won't contribute to the problem, right?
Wrong. Only a finite number of people want pets. So every home you find for your petâ€™s offspring takes away a home from a loving animal already at a shelter.
Shouldn't every female pet have at least one litter before being spayed?
No. In fact, your pet will be healthier if she never sexually matures.
Shouldn't children experience the miracle of birth?
No. A more important lesson to teach your children would be responsible pet ownership and concern for life by explaining why their pet should not have babies.
Doesn't neutering alter an animal's personality?
No. Personality changes that may result from neutering are for the better. Not being distracted by the instinctual need to find a mate helps your pet stop roaming and decreases aggressive tendencies.
Won't animal shelters take care of the surplus animals?
No. Shelters do their best to place animals in loving homes, but the number of homeless animals far exceeds the number of willing adopters. This leaves many loving and healthy animals in our community that must be euthanized as the only humane solution to this tragic dilemma. Only spaying and neutering can end the overpopulation problem.
Is spaying and neutering painful?
Surgical sterilization is performed under general anesthesia by a doctor of veterinary medicine. The procedure itself is not felt by the patient. There may be mild discomfort after the surgery, but most animals return to normal activity within 24 to 72 hours. Post op pain medications are provided as well. The minimal discomfort experienced by dogs and cats who are spayed or neutered is well worth the endless suffering that is prevented by eliminating unwanted births.
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