Why It’s So Important to Spay or Neuter Your Pets

Group of cats and dogsSpaying or neutering your pets is every animal owner’s responsibility. It’s also one of the most important things you can do for your dog’s or cat’s health. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s the Difference Between Spaying and Neutering?

Spaying is a procedure that sterilizes female animals, while neutering is for male animals. Both procedures do the same thing – remove the animal’s reproductive organs, but they are performed a little differently.

The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

There are a wide range of benefits to having your pets spayed and neutered. These include:

Population Control

There is a great overpopulation of stray cats and dogs in the world. This is in part because of how many puppies or kittens they can have over a lifetime of litters. One cat can have up to 100-180 kittens, and some dog breeds could have up to 120 puppies (or more!).

You can do your part to help this problem by getting your animal spayed or neutered. If you want to get them a friend, consider adopting from a shelter.

Medical Risks

For female pets, going through heat cycles is directly related to increased risk of mammary cancer. In addition, the reproductive organ’s may become infected, resulting in the life threatening condition pyometra. For breeding animals, pregnancy has a number of medical risks. This is especially true for certain breeds.

Meanwhile, if your pet is sterilized at the appropriate time, there’s a reduced risk of them developing certain forms of cancer. Even older animals can benefit here, and not just from the obvious.

Personality and Behavior

Female pets won’t go into heat and male pets are less likely to try to run away when a neighbor’s animal goes into heat. Male cats who are fixed young are unlikely to spray to mark their territory. Male dogs and cats are also less likely to get aggressive or pick fights with other animals. Finally, spayed and neutered animals tend to have an overall calmer and more predictable personality. This is a good feature when you also have young children in the household.

When to Spay

Recent studies have made this question a bit more complicated. The quick answer is you should consult your veterinarian about when the best time to spay/neuter may be. The time may change based on size and breed.

The youngest we typically spay and neuter would be 8-12 weeks, but in some cases we may not recommend sterilization until 1 year or or after a heat cycle.

Now that you know about the importance of spaying and neutering your pets, what’s next? At University Animal Hospital, our highly trained staff can take care of this important procedure. Contact us today if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.