Almost every day we are asked by pet owners:
“Why is it so important to “fix” our animals?”
Aside from preventing excessive reproduction, there are many health and behavioral factors involved.
The biggest reason that animal health professionals recommend these procedures is to reduce the population of accidental and unwanted litters.
There is a huge problem in America with a rampant population of feral cats and homeless dogs. Just visit your local animal shelter and you will see countless dogs of every breed and cages filled with cats and kittens of all ages.
Currently, the demand for a pet is positively dwarfed by the number of animals being bred. Pets are bred for profit, bred by accident or sometimes even bred without the owner’s knowledge.
With so many stray cats and dogs out and about, disease is also an issue in the population.
Your outdoor pets are at a greater risk of diseases such as distemper, parvovirus, feline leukemia, feline AIDS. Because stray animals out there are not able to get prevention or vaccines for these diseases.
Please consider adopting your new friends from any one of the nation's thousands of shelters or rescue groups. Rememer #adoptdontshop
There are also numerous health benefits to spaying and neutering your furry family members.
First of all, the risk of testicular and uterine/ovarian cancer is completely removed. The risk of prostate and mammary cancers is dropped to nearly zero. These health benefits are increased further if the surgery is done before 6-8 months in males and before the first heat cycle of females.
Physically, the hormones (estrogen and testosterone) produced in intact animals can wreak havoc on your pet’s appearance. Thickened skin, foul odors and enlarged nipples/anuses to name just a few. Intact females will have 2 heat cycles throughout the year where they bleed for 1-2 weeks. Intact males will produce larger amount of smegma (an oily discharge from the penis). All of this is prevented by the simple act of spaying or neutering.
For further information on health benefits to spaying please click here.
One of the final reasons it is a good idea to spay or neuter your pet, is to help with behavioral issues.
Many instinctive actions are reduced or prevented when the sexual organs are removed. Intact males are naturally inclined to be more aggressive, excessively dominant, territorial and hyperactive when they are not fixed. Removal of the testicles will make them less inclined to fighting/biting, “humping”, “marking” and excitability.
Intact females tend to be more aggressive, possessive and defensive. After being fixed they tend to be friendlier and more personable, especially towards unfamiliar people/animals. Both males and females are also more likely to try to escape and run away when they are intact. This is because of a natural instinct to roam free and find a mate. When they are not driven to natural reproductive urges, they are much more likely to stay home and be a good dog with their respective families.
Please consider all of these factors when thinking about spaying or neutering your pet. And remember, shelter animals are often some of the most loving pets people ever have!
Please contact your veterinarian if you have any further questions or concerns about spaying or neutering your pet.