Spaying/Neutering: The Secret to a Healthy Pet
When you first bring home a new puppy or kitten, it’s hard to imagine that soon they’ll grow up and be more than a soft little ball of cuddly fur. However, that time will come sooner than you think, and before it does, you need to have your pet spayed or neutered.
You want to do what’s best for your pet, but you might not be sure if spaying/neutering is really a good idea. Will it change their behaviour? Does your pet want to reproduce?
To separate the facts from the fictions, you should know the benefits of spaying/neutering your pet, and the truth about some common myths you’ve heard.
Benefits of Spaying/Neutering
Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the best things you can do for them. Spayed/neutered pets live longer, healthier, happier lives. Why wouldn’t you want to keep your pet around for a few more healthy years, as well as contribute to the health of society?
There are many benefits to spaying/neutering for owners and pets alike.
No Heat Cycles
When female dogs and cats go into heat, it’s messy and often annoying for the owner. Spaying eliminates this issue. You don’t have to diaper your female dog or cat every few weeks during breeding season, and males won’t seek her out.
Unneutered dogs and cats often mark their territory by peeing. This usually means they pee all over your house. Marking is different from your pet’s regular bathroom needs, so this is still a problem for housetrained pets. Neutering can reduce or completely stop your pet’s urge to mark your house.
Reduced Risk of Cancer
Spaying/neutering reduces the risk of several types of cancer for both male and female pets. Females will have a reduced risk of mammary gland tumours, and the risk for ovarian/uterine cancer is eliminated. Males have a lower risk of prostate disease, and the risk of testicular cancer is gone.
While neutering can’t totally get rid of the possibility of dog fights, it can make your dog less aggressive. He won’t be tempted to fight other dogs for potential mates. The same is true for cats. Your male cat won’t get in as many fights if he’s been neutered.
Spayed/neutered pets live longer. Sterilized dogs live on average one to three years longer than intact dogs, and spayed/neutered cats can live three to five years longer.
Male pets in particular have less of an urge to roam around looking for mates after sterilization. Most pets who get hit by cars have not been spayed/neutered. Your pet stays safer when he stays close to home.
Fewer Unwanted Dogs and Cats
Spaying and neutering is good for your community as well as your pet. Unwanted dogs and cats are a huge problem all across Canada. Sterilizing your pet is the best way you can help.
Myths about Spaying/Neutering
Even when you know the good things spaying/neutering can do for your pet, you might still feel nervous about it. There are many myths out there about the spaying/neutering procedure and its side effects. The truth is much more reassuring.
My Pet Will Get Fat
Spaying/neutering your pet will not cause them to gain weight. Weight gain is caused by too much food and not enough exercise.
My Pet’s Personality Will Change
Since they won’t need to find a mate anymore, it is true that your pet’s behaviour will change. However, all the changes will be good ones. Your pet won’t be mounting furniture and guests or yowling when they’re in heat.
The Procedure is Dangerous
Most pets go home the same day they have the spay/neuter procedure. Although every surgery has risks, spaying/neutering is a very routine operation. Your pet will be back to normal within a day or two.
My Pet Will Be Sad If They Can’t Have Offspring
Pets do not attach emotions to reproduction the way humans do. Your pet is not hoping for offspring when they try to find a mate, they are just following instincts.
My Pet Will Be Less of a Male/Female
Pets do not establish gender roles and identities the way humans do. Once again, they are simply following their instincts when it comes to reproduction.
My Pet Stays Indoors
Even if your pet isn’t meant to leave your house, spaying/neutering still offers many benefits for their health and lifespan. Not to mention it will be easier to keep your pet indoors if they no longer have the urge to go look for a mate.
I Have a Male and He Won’t Have Litters
Your male pet will still have the urge to roam and find a mate, which increases his risk of getting lost or hit by a car. It’s also basic pet ownership to make sure your pet will not add to the dog/cat overpopulation problem by impregnating another animal.
The Procedure is Expensive
Since animal overpopulation is such a big problem, most areas have options for low-cost or free spay/neuter operations. Check with your local animal shelter to see if they offer reduced fees for these services.
You don’t have to feel worried about spaying/neutering your pet. Sterilizing your pet will increase their lifespan and keep them healthier so both of you can live well for years to come.
If you have a pet that needs to be spayed or neutered, schedule an appointment at Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic. Call us today at 416-266-9380.