Spaying and neutering your dog or cat does more than just control pet population. It also improves the health of your pet. According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), spaying and neutering offers the following benefits:
- Spaying female cats and dogs helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
- Neutering male cats and dogs prevents testicular cancer, if the surgery is performed before the animal is 6 months old.
- Neutered dogs and cats don’t roam. Unneutered males will do just about anything to find a mate, including digging and scratching inside the house and in the yard. They will make any effort to get out, and once they are gone they often get into fights with other males after the same female. They are also at greater risk of getting injured in traffic or getting lost.
- Neutered males are better behaved. Unneutered dogs and cats are highly territorial and will spray strong-smelling urine inside the house to mark their territory. They also tend to be more aggressive toward other animals in the house.
- Spaying or neutering is more cost effective. The surgery may seem expensive, but it is cheaper than caring for a pregnant pet and her resulting litter. Also, neutered males get into few fights and have fewer injuries throughout their lifetime than those who are unneutered. If cost really is a deterrent, ask us about low-cost spay/neuter clinics available in our area.
For the health of your pet, we recommend spaying or neutering your puppy or kitten between 4 and 6 months of age. Even older pets, though, can benefit from being spayed or neutered.