Neutering and Spaying
A massive overpopulation of cats and dogs means that approximately 3.7 million animals that live in shelters have to be euthanized each year due to a lack of willing adopters. This is a heart-breaking figure for any animal lover, and many responsible owners are choosing to neuter or spay their pets to help prevent more animals going without loving homes.
What exactly does neutering or spaying entail?
Neutering is the removal of the testicles in male animals and spaying is the removal of the uterus and ovaries of females.
Aside from overpopulation, there are plenty of other reasons why you should consider neutering or spaying your pets, including a number of serious health benefits. Here are some examples why we highly recommend this procedure for your pet.
- Neutering your male pet before they reach maturity (typically 1 year of age) will prevent them from developing testicular cancer. It will also reduce the risk of perianal tumors.
- Spaying your female pet before their first heat cycle (typically 9 months in dogs and 6 - 9 months in cats) will prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in 90% of cats and 50% of dogs.
- Male dogs in particular will go to extreme lengths to find a mate and have been known to dig under fences and escape properties. They also regularly get into fights with other dogs. Neutering removes most of this aggression and stops them from trying to run away.
- Females cats that are in heat can be very noisy and messy as they urinate much more often and aren't too fussy about where they do it! With heat cycles lasting 4 - 5 days and occurring every 3 weeks during the breeding season, it can be a difficult time. Spayed females will not go into heat, so this problem will be eradicated.
- Un-neutered male cats also mark their territory by spraying urine and exhibit quite naughty behavior. Neutering them solves many early aggression problems, helps level their behavior and brings their focus and attention on to their human families. Neutering can also prevent unwanted behaviors such as humping.
- Female dogs that are in heat can also be quite messy, as the drip blood for up to 3 weeks each time the are in heat. Their heat cycles typically occur every 6 months.
- If you have more than one pet, spaying and neutering can improve the temperament of an animal meaning that all of your pets are much more likely to get along.
- Neutering or spaying will also benefit the community as it will reduce the number of animals on the streets, particularly strays who are more likely to destroy property, raid garbage, harm wildlife, and cause accidents.
How old does my pet need to be to be neutered/spayed?
It is generally recommended that cats and dogs be neutered and spayed at 6 months of age. It can be safely done as early as 8 weeks of age.
We would be happy to answer more of your questions. Please give us a call.