Pet owners are often called on to spay and neuter their animals, but do you know why? Spaying and neutering not only help reduce the population of unwanted pets, but it can also benefit the animal’s health in many ways as well. Here are 7 spay and neuter tips to consider for your cat or dog.
1. Spaying and neutering helps reduce euthanizations.
More than 3 million domestic animals are euthanized at shelters in America every year simply because there aren’t enough adoptive homes to care for them all. Spaying and neutering helps control the cat and dog population, ensuring that more animals are able to be placed in loving homes.
2. It can lead to better behavior.
In male dogs, neutering reduces aggression and undesirable behaviors like marking with urine. In females, both cats and dogs, it eliminates the stress of being in heat. Animals that are spayed or neutered are also less likely to have the instinct to “roam,” or run away from home.
3. It can improve health.
For males, neutering prevents testicular cancer and significantly reduces the risk for perianal tumors and enlarged prostate glands. For females, spaying nearly eliminates the risk for breast cancer and reduces the risk for uterine cancer and uterine infections.
4. It doesn’t cost much, and is sometimes free.
Many cities have at least one low-cost spay and neuter clinic geared specifically toward reducing the unwanted pet population. Many shelters and clinics even offer free spay and neuter days a few times a year. To find out about low or no-cost options, contact your local Humane Society branch.
5. It reduces your expenses in the long run.
A pregnant dog or cat needs heightened medical attention, and the resulting litter will come with the cost of veterinary check-ups and required vaccinations. Spaying and neutering prevents these added expenses.
6. It’s not cruel.
Some pet owners, particularly those of male dogs, subscribe to the myth that it’s “cruel” or “unnatural” to neuter an animal. In fact the opposite is true; it’s much more inhumane to contribute to the excess of unloved and unwanted animals living in our country’s packed animal shelters.
7. There’s little risk.
While spaying and neutering is a surgical procedure and thus inherently comes with some level of risk, the actual incidence of complications is very low. For most vets, spays and neuters are by far their most frequent procedure, and your animal will be in and out of the vet’s office within a day.
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