Getting your pet spayed or neutered is quite simply the responsible choice to make. By doing so, you are doing your part to control the problem of pet homelessness in America. Every year, staggering numbers of pets are euthanized as there aren’t enough people to adopt those animals in need. In addition to this, there are other physical advantages to spaying and neutering your pets.

Physical Benefits

When female dogs and cats are spayed early in life, they become protected from several serious health problems that could develop later on, such as breast tumors and uterine infections. This may save your pet’s life as these conditions are cancerous or malignant in approximately 50% of canines and 90% of felines. Ideally, you should have your pet spayed prior to her first heat so that she will receive the biggest safeguard from these conditions.

Having your male pet neutered lessens his risk of developing an enlarged prostate gland, as well as testicular cancer.

Behavioral Benefits

There are behavioral benefits from spaying or neutering your pets as well. The first is that your female won’t go into heat. This is definitely a plus, since typically during the breeding season, female cats go into heat 4-5 days at a time, where they often spend their time yowling and urinating all over your house!

If you have a male dog, you are sure to appreciate the fact that he won’t be as likely to try and escape your property. Male dogs who aren’t neutered will try and be as creative as they can to find ways to escape in order to find a mate. Once he has gotten out of your yard, there is a risk that he could get hit by a car or get into a fight with another dog.

If your male is neutered, he may behave better than he would otherwise. Cats and dogs that are not neutered have the habit of marking their territory with urine everywhere inside your house. Also, your canine may not be as likely to mount other dogs, your leg, and other objects after he has been neutered. Early neutering may also remedy potential problems with aggression.  

Though spaying and neutering are not free, consider how much it would cost for you to care for their offspring.

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Dispelling Myths

  •         Some people believe that spaying or neutering their pets will cause them to gain weight, however, this is not true. The truth is that feeding your pet too much food, and not making sure they are getting enough exercise is actually the culprit.
  •         Neutering will not fix your pet’s behavior problems. Although neutering your pet will reduce his levels of testosterone, which sometimes results in improved behavior, this should not be seen as a guarantee that his behavior will change. Neutering will also not change habitual behaviors.

Timing for the Surgery

  •         Dogs can be spayed or neutered as early as 8 weeks old, providing that they are healthy. However, the traditional age to neuter dogs is between six and nine months old. Adult dogs can also be neutered, but there are more risks involved.
  •         Cats can be spayed or neutered as early as 8 weeks old as well. The ASPCA recommends that cats have their surgery before they reach five months old before they start spraying urine and also to avoid pregnancy.

Caring for Your Pet After Surgery

One of the best things you can do for your pet is to provide a comfortable dog bed where he or she can lay down and relax. Be sure to place the bed in an area that is well-ventilated and free from noise and other distractions.

Your veterinarian will likely instruct you not to feed your dog until the anesthesia has worn off, which is approximately two hours after the surgery has been completed. When it is time to feed your pet, feed him or her half the amount that you would normally give.

Watch your pet for any signs of possible surgical complications, particularly during the first 24 hours. Lethargy, weakness, vomiting, and diarrhea are common during this time. However, if these symptoms continue 48 hours after the surgery, it is a good idea to contact your veterinarian. 

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