It is fun to think about having a cute, cuddly litter of puppies or kittens to play with or a progeny of your favorite pet to enjoy for many more years to come. Having an intact pet, though, comes with a greater responsibility than you might realize. It is important to consider the many compelling reasons to spay or neuter your pets.
The Pet Overpopulation Problem
Each year in the United States, millions of cats and dogs are euthanized or become strays simply because there are not enough homes for them. Spaying or neutering your pet prevents unwanted litters from being born, ensuring each pet that is born finds the home it deserves.
Spaying or Neutering Affects the Health of Your Pet
Spaying or neutering your pet carries with it several important health benefits, as well. Besides helping the animal population in general, you can help your pet live a longer, healthier life.
Eliminates risk of uterine infection – Female pets who have not been spayed are at high risk for developing a serious, life-threatening infection in their uterus called a pyometra. Removing the uterus eliminates this possibility.
Decreases risk of mammary (breast) cancer – Spaying your pet before her first heat cycle almost entirely prevents the development of breast cancer down the line. Even pets who are spayed after they have come into heat enjoy a dramatically decreased risk.
Prevents testicular cancer – During a routine neuter procedure the testicles are removed, which removes the possibility for the development of testicular cancer. Intact male dogs are also at increased risk for perianal gland tumors.
Decreases incidence of prostate problems – Male pets who are not neutered are more likely to suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.
Prevent roaming behavior – Pets who are intact are more likely to get out of the yard and roam while looking for mates. This puts them at increased risk for being injured or lost.
Prevention of Behavioral Problems
Spaying or neutering your pet can also greatly reduce behavioral problems. With behavior issues being the number one reason that pets are surrendered to shelters and rescues, it is very important to keep this in mind.
- Intact females may engage in undesirable behaviors when in heat, including yowling and urinating frequently.
- Males looking for lady friends are more apt to fight with other animals.
- When pets are spayed or neutered, they are more likely to focus their attention on their human family, resulting in better behavior.
- Neutered animals are much less likely to engage in urine marking behaviors.
- Hormones can increase aggressive behaviors in some animals.
Who doesn’t like to save a few dollars? The truth is that simply spaying or neutering your pet can end up saving a lot of money over time. The cost of having and caring for a litter can be quite high when one takes into account deworming, vaccinations, and proper care of the mother and babies. Pregnant pets may develop complications or need a Cesarean-section. Besides the costs of having a litter, intact pets are at increased risks for many health problems as outlined above and more likely to get in fights or hit by cars.
Having your pet spayed or neutered is a very important part of caring for your pet. Animals that have been “fixed” are much less likely to have behavioral problems, become lost, and develop health issues such as cancer. Union Lake Animal Hospital is proud to help pets by providing safe, high-end spay and neuter services. Please let us know if you would like to discuss whether spaying or neutering is right for your pet.