Each year, more than 6 million homeless animals end up in animal shelters in the U.S. 2.7 million of these animals are euthanized because they don’t have homes to go to. We can save our cats and dogs from the suffering and death caused by overpopulation by getting them spayed/neutered.
Spaying, which is removing the ovaries and uterus of a female pet, is a veterinary procedure that requires minimal hospitalization and offers lifelong health benefits. Neutering, which is removing the testicles of your male pet, will improve his behavior and keep him safe and close to home.
February is National Spay/Neuter Month, and it is more important than ever to get this procedure done for your pet. Not only does spaying/neutering your pet have important health benefits, but it also helps the environment you live in and the overall population of animals in the U.S. It’s affordable, safe, and will give your pet a longer, happier life.
Benefits of Spaying/Neutering
Spaying/neutering your pet has many positive benefits, not just on the overpopulation crisis. It also has long-term health benefits that will increase your pet’s overall well-being and longevity of life.
Health Benefits for Your Pet:
- Neutering your male companion can prevent testicular cancer and prostate problems.
- Spayed females have a reduced risk of mammary gland, ovarian, and/or uterine tumors which can become cancerous in 90 percent of cats and 50 percent of dogs.
- Neutered males have a reduced risk of testicular cancer and prostate disease.
- Altering your canine companion will increase his/her life by an average of 1 to 3 years, and felines an average of 3 to 5 years. Several studies have shown that neutered male dogs live 18% longer than their intact counterparts, and female spayed dogs live 23% longer.
- Intact cats have a higher risk of getting into fights and biting other cats, which can spread Feline Immunodeficiency Syndrome and other diseases.
Preventing Unwanted Behavior
Spaying/neutering your pet may also be the answer to some of the unwanted and challenging behaviors that your pet might be showing.
- Spayed females will not go into heat, which will prevent unwanted behaviors such as yowling and frequent urinating. It will also keep unwanted males away as they will not be attracted.
- Male dogs that are neutered are less likely to roam away from home as they will no longer have a desire to find a mate. Whereas, intact male dogs will do just about anything to find a mate, including escaping your yard.
- Intact dogs and cats are more likely to mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the place. Neutering will your pet will help prevent this urge.
- Your dog will be less likely to mount other dogs, people, and inanimate objects after he is neutered.
- While not a cure-all, neutering your dog may decrease aggressive behavior as it reduces your pet’s testosterone level.
- Neutering your male pet will decrease their desire to fight other males.
Spaying/neutering your pet is not a quick fix for all behavior problems. While it will stop the urgency to urinate, howl, and roam, there is no guarantee that your dog’s behavior will change. It will not change behaviors that are trained or formed through habit. The effects of neutering are largely dependent on your dog’s personality, physiology, and history. If you are concerned about a specific behavior that your pet is exhibiting, make sure to talk to your veterinarian.
Helping Your Community and Your Pets
Spaying/neutering your pets can provide benefits to your community and your peace of mind.
Unaltered pets roam more frequently and further in search of a mate. This can lead to unexpected guests in your yard that may even be aggressive toward you and your family. If your animal decides to roam in search of a mate, it may lead to your pet getting into fights with other animals. This could cause serious injury and your pet may even contract certain diseases. Roaming also poses a threat to your animal’s health as they run the risk of getting hit by a car. Surveys indicate that 85% of dogs hit by cars are unaltered.
Spaying/neutering also prevents unwanted litters that you may be responsible for. If you don’t intend on raising litters of puppies or kittens, it’s a good idea to get your pet altered. 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. You may not think that your cat or dog will get pregnant, but statistics show that cats are 45 times as prolific as humans, and dogs are 15 times as prolific.
Stray animals can easily become a public nuisance. They soil parks and streets, go through trash cans, ruin plants and shrubs, create noise and other disturbances, causing automobile accidents, and may even kill livestock or other pets.
If money speaks, then listen to this. The capture, impoundment, and euthanizing of unwanted animals and strays cost taxpayers and humanitarian agencies over a billion dollars each year. Spaying/neutering your pet is the only permanent, 100 percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats.
Myths of Altering Your Pet
Many people do not have their pet spayed/neutered because of a few misconceptions around it. First, many people believe that it is too expensive to have their animal fixed. This is not true. Many places offer reduced-cost spaying/neutering, including Lazy 5! This month we have a special on spaying/neutering, to make sure that your fur baby is taken care of. Regardless of how much it costs, it will be a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment from fights with other animals, especially if your pet contracts a disease from another cat or dog. Caring for a pet with reproductive system cancer can easily run into the thousands of dollars – 5 to 10 times as much as a routine spay surgery. Spaying/neutering is a safe procedure, while cancer is potentially fatal, and fixing your animal can help prevent that cancer.
Another common misconception with spaying/neutering is that your pet will become fat and lazy. Spaying/neutering will not make your pet fat. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds, not the surgery. If you’re worried about your pet being overweight, make sure to talk to your veterinarian. They can recommend a diet and exercise that is right for your pet.
Getting the Procedure – A Few Things to Know
Once you’ve decided to get your pet spayed/neutered, consult your veterinarian. It’s recommended that you schedule the surgery for your cat when they reach five to six months old. This will help prevent the start of urine spraying and eliminate the chance of pregnancy. It is possible to spay a female cat while she is in heat, but for the best health benefits, it is advisable to spay a cat before her first heat.
Dogs can be fixed as early as six months old, but in large breed dogs, your veterinarian may suggest waiting a little longer for growth. Adult dogs may be altered as well, although there is a higher risk of post-operative complications.
Once your pet has undergone surgery, provide them with a quiet place to recover indoors away from other animals. Prevent them from running and jumping for up to two weeks, or as long as your veterinarian recommends. Make sure that they do not lick the incision site, which may cause infection. You can use an Elizabethan collar or distract them using treats or extra pets. Avoid bathing your pet for at least ten days after surgery and check the incision site daily to confirm proper healing. If you notice any redness, swelling, or discharge at the incision site, or if the incision opens, contact your veterinarian.
Spaying/Neutering – A Good Idea for Your Pet’s Health
In the long run, spaying/neutering is well worth the investment. A few dollars now can save you thousands later on. You’ll also be providing your pet a longer, healthier life. They will have a reduced risk for reproductive system cancer, and they will be less likely to roam and get into fights or potentially get hit by an automobile. Spaying/neutering will prevent you from being responsible for unwanted litters of puppies or kittens and will keep your animal from creating new strays that will eventually end up in a shelter, or worse, dead. One fixed pet saves a litter of kittens or puppies.
Take advantage of our special for the month of February by contacting us and getting your furry friend spayed/neutered. We promise that they’re in great hands and we’ll take the utmost care of them.