Why you should spay/neuter your pet

Happy Puppy

Choosing to adopt a pet is a serious commitment and as a dedicated owner, you are entirely responsible for the health and happiness of your furbaby. Unsurprisingly, you will have many decisions to make and acts to take in your pet’s lifetime. These will include what food you will provide, taking your pet for their preventative vaccinations and parasite medications, ensuring that they get enough exercise and whether to get them microchipped. However, there is another act of responsible pet parenting that should be a priority but that is often overlooked – this is getting your pet spayed or neutered.

What is spaying/neutering and what is involved?

Spaying and neutering are essentially the same things – the removal of the reproductive organs so that your pet can no longer reproduce. In females, it tends to be referred to as spaying, while neutering is used to describe the procedure in males.

The procedure itself is performed under a general anesthetic meaning that your pet will have no awareness of the surgery and will not experience any stress or pain. Afterward, you will be given specific information relating to your pet’s recovery. It is essential that you follow all instructions given to prevent complications.

The importance of spaying/neutering

There are a variety of reasons why you should make spaying/neutering your pet a priority. These include, but are not limited to the following:

Spaying/neutering is good for your pet’s health and behavior

Spaying/neutering has a number of health benefits for your pet. In the case of females, spaying at a young age doesn’t only prevent unwanted pregnancy, although this is certainly a leading benefit. By preventing your female from coming into heat, you can also ensure that she won’t receive a lot of unwanted attention from frisky males. There will be no messy bleeding during those weeks when she would ordinarily be in season, and her risk of developing female cancers and uterine infections is virtually eliminated. Spaying before the first heat offers the best protection against these diseases.

In the case of male animals, early neutering can deter undesirable behaviors such as urine spraying/marking, humping, roaming and aggressiveness. It also completely eliminates the risk of your pet developing testicular cancer, whilst the risk of prostate problems is also dramatically reduced.

Reduce the number of pets waiting for homes

Pet overpopulation is a serious ongoing concern in the United States. There are millions of homeless animals living on the streets or in shelters, and countless more are euthanized every year because there are not the resources available to offer them the care needed. Any loving pet owner will find this situation heart-breaking.

Unfortunately, baby animals and particularly ‘designer’ breeds of pet are particularly in demand, and this means that older animals and less desirable breeds are often left longest in shelters with very little chance of being adopted. In some cases, ‘old’ pets are simply abandoned in favor of a younger, more attractive or fun replacement. This demand has led to the creation of puppy and kitten ‘farms’ where animals are bred for profit, and where many animals are kept in appalling conditions and aren’t cared for properly, leading to them becoming sick.

When you choose to spay/neuter your pet, you aren’t only preventing the effects that unwanted pregnancy will have on your home – extra time, effort and cost, and you aren’t only protecting your furbaby from the risks that come with pregnancy and birth. You are also taking a positive step in the fight against overpopulation by not having babies that will immediately need to be rehomed. If all pet owners did the same, it would make a huge difference.

Keep your pet safe from being stolen

If you have a breed of animal that is particularly desirable, there is a chance that your furbaby is at risk of being stolen with the intention of either selling them on or using them to breed. By getting your pet sterilized and marking their collar and tag with ‘microchipped and sterilized’, you may be able to deter potential thieves.

If you would like more information about spaying/neutering, or to schedule an appointment for your pet, please get in touch with our veterinary team by calling our animal hospital today.