Many pet parents know the importance of spaying or neutering pets, and frequently assume pets at the shelter level are being spayed or neutered. But have you wondered why? At Pawsitive Alliance, we not only help “less desirable” pets get adopted with the Why Not Me? pets program, but we also run an essential spay/neuter program in our home state of Washington.
A quick recap: Spaying is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus in a female animal, while neutering refers to the surgical removal of the testicles in males. The surgery is typically painless and uncomplicated; pets are under anesthesia and it’s the most common surgery performed by vets.
· Your pet will live a longer, healthier life.
Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases. For males, besides preventing unwanted litters that can end up in kill shelters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age. For both, there are studies that link even skin cancer to intact pets.
· Your spayed female won’t go into heat and your male dog will want to stay home.
While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house! Unneutered cats and dogs may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over as well. Think that’s bad? Well, an intact male will do just about anything to find a mate which includes digging his way under the fence or darting out the door. Once he’s free to roam, he can be hit by a car or risks getting into fights with other males. Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. Also, many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
· But won’t my neutered male feel less “manly”?
Your pet has no concept of sexual identity and ego. His biology and behavior developed in the wild to produce as many offspring as possible so his species could survive. In our modern world, this many offspring only add to the sum total of unwanted pets that end up homeless.
· Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet gain weight.
Weight gain is from lack of exercise and overfeeding—not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
· My pet is purebred. Shouldn’t I breed at least once?
Many purebred pets end up in shelters just like mixed breeds. The Humane Society of the United States estimates as many as 25% of shelter dogs are purebred. Plus, did you know that breeding in almost all cases requires a special permit? It is also costly, time consuming and does not create a clone of your pet. Responsible breeders would discourage this thought immediately.
· It is cost-effective to spay/neuter.
The cost of spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray! Additionally, there are many local resources available to people who need help financially for spay/neuter surgeries.
· It is good for the community.
Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife which upsets the ecosystem, cause car accidents, frighten children and attack other pets. Spaying and neutering is the best way to reduce the number of animals on the streets.
· Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation.
Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays, or litters that have been surrendered. These high numbers are the result of unplanned kittens and puppies that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
Many of us can be affected by pets that are not spayed or neutered, but caring about homeless pets truly means caring about your community. Millions of tax dollars are spent annually to round up abandoned and unwanted pets, and when homes cannot be found, more dollars are spent on destroying these animals, which also takes an emotional toll. “It is only when all of us assume the responsibility for the homeless pet population that we will see any decrease in the problem,” explains Executive Director of Pawsitive Alliance, Amy Ferguson. “While shelters do their best to place animals in loving homes, many healthy and adoptable animals in our community are still vulnerable due to overpopulation. It’s up to the community to be responsible pet owners and spay/neuter their pets.”
If you’re interested in finding out how to spay or neuter your pet but are unable to afford it, and live in the Washington (state) area, check-out our free and low cost spay/neuter programs. For other areas, visit the Humane Society’s page detailing options for financial help.
After spaying or neutering your best furry friend, your next step in happy, healthy pet parenthood is pet insurance! By enrolling as soon as you can, dogs and cats can be covered through many of life’s (mis)adventures. You can start protecting your pet today by getting a free quote through Healthy Paws Pet Insurance.
8/28/2019 03:48:39 pm
My cousin is thinking about adopting a new cat and wants to make sure that they are healthy. It could be really nice for her to get them spayed or neutered by a professional. I like what you mentioned about how one of the best ways to reduce the number of animals is by spaying and neutering.
9/11/2019 04:23:33 pm
My daughter recently purchased a tiny 1-year-old dog. It is getting aggressive whenever there is another dog. She is thinking of taking it into a veterinarian to have spaying surgery. I'm grateful for your advice that spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases. It could also reduce the risk of testicular cancer and prostate problems. Cheers!
10/28/2019 09:47:19 am
That's really good to know that your pet won't gain weight from this. My friend just sold us a small pet dog. We'll have to find an animal hospital near us to go to.
12/3/2019 12:30:18 pm
I didn't know that spaying can help control the weight of your pet. This is such a great benefit, especially for pet owners who are too busy to pay attention to what their pet eats. I might consider bringing my pet corgi to the animal clinic to schedule a check-up and to book an available date for her spaying procedure so I won't have to worry anymore about her being overweight.
2/6/2020 07:06:46 am
I loved reading that spaying can help your pet to live longer due to avoiding infections and cancers, the females won't have to go into heat, and males won't get into as many fights. My older brother just adopted a gorgeous, orange cat named Sprinkles and is wanting to get her spayed. It sounds like this is a good idea, and he should find a veterinarian in Shoreline, WA.
4/7/2020 02:07:46 am
Thanks for helping me understand the benefits of spay and neuter programs. I've been seeing ads about these lately and I wanted to know what it's for. I had no idea that it removes their reproductive organs! My sister is about to give me one of her Persian cat kittens and I should probably factor this in once I already have her.
Wow, I had never considered the fact that the cost of spaying or neutering a pet is a lot less than having to care for their litter. This is something important to keep in mind because I recently adopted a dog and I do not think she has gone through that process yet. It would be really hard to care for her if she got pregnant, so I will make sure I look for a vet that can help us go through the surgery.
5/7/2020 09:43:36 am
It's good that you point out that having your pet neutered can help protect them from cancer. I'd like to do everything possible to help my dog have a healthy life, so I'm thinking about taking him to an animal hospital to have him neutered. I'm going to look for a good animal hospital in my area that offers dog neutering services.
6/25/2020 11:01:07 am
It made sense when you said that the cost of spay or neuter surgery is much less than the cost of having to care for a whole litter. My sister and her husband are looking into buying a black lab puppy from a local breeder now that they have their own home with a large yard. I'll have to show them this info to make sure they realize why desexing surgery will be important for the dog!
7/17/2020 10:07:50 am
It's valuable that you point out that having your pet spayed or neutered can help them to live longer. I would like my puppy to live for a long time, so I'm considering taking him to a veterinarian to have him neutered. I'm going to look for a good veterinarian in my area that does pet spaying and neutering.
7/20/2020 11:37:41 am
It's valuable that you mention that having your pet spayed or neutered can allow them to live longer. I want my new kitten to have a long life, so I'm thinking about taking him to a veterinarian to have him neutered. I'm going to search in my area for a good provider of pet surgical services that does cat neutering.
11/19/2020 07:10:22 pm
You made a good point when you mentioned that your pet will be able to live a long and healthy life if you spay her so she will possibly get to reduce the risk of uterine infections and breast cancer. My sister just adopted a new kitten from a friend last week as she has been living on her own for almost a year and she wants to have a pet as a companion. I will suggest her to bring the cat to a reliable veterinarian to get spayed so it will live a healthier life.
4/12/2021 12:41:42 pm
It's cool that you mention that spaying and neutering can help your pet to live longer. I want my puppy to live for a long time, so I'm thinking about taking him to a veterinary clinic to get neutered this month. I'm going to look for a good veterinary clinic in my area that offers pet neutering services.
3/7/2022 04:54:53 pm
I didn't know that the proliferation rate was so high in the wild. I just got a cat but don't want a litter. I'll have to make sure that I have her spayed.
3/7/2022 04:55:00 pm
I never knew that desexing is another form of protecting your pet from health conditions. My sister mentioned to me last night that she wants her pet to get a pet desexing service to eliminate undesired habits and asked if I had any suggestions on what the best course of action would be. Thank you for your informative article, and I'll be sure to remind her that she may visit a reputable pet service for answers to all of her questions.
3/29/2022 04:54:43 pm
I found it interesting that all ages of your pet can have a disease but desexing can prevent them. My sister mentioned to me last night that she wants her pet to have a pet desexing service to reduce unwanted behaviors, and she asked if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this informative article and I'll be sure to tell her that she can consult a trusted animal hospital as they can perform the safe and proper treatment.
10/13/2022 12:06:35 am
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12/22/2022 07:46:28 am
My wife and I are planning on adopting a dog from a shelter, and we want to make sure that they're cared for. It makes sense that we might want to have them neutered. It's good to know that doing so can prevent future health problems.
3/3/2023 06:59:18 am
It's great that you talked about the importance of spaying and neutering pets to avoid the costs of caring for a litter. We're adopting a dog next week, and we'd like to give her the best life quality, so we'll follow your insight and find a vet to get her spayed soon. Thanks for explaining the key role of spay and neuter programs for the community.
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