Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet

The most important thing to know about spaying and neutering is that it saves lives. In every community in the U.S. there are animals sitting in animal shelters waiting for homes.

Only about half of those dogs and cats will ever get one. The other half will be euthanized.

Sadly, each year in the US more than 15 million dogs and cats are euthanized because of overpopulation. Some pet owners are not aware of all the advantages of spaying or neutering their pet.

Sterilizing dogs and cats not only reduces animal companion overpopulation, homelessness and euthanasia, but also benefits individual cats and dogs, their guardians and society at large.

For years it was believed that the best age at which to neuter and spay animals was six months. No conclusive controlled studies have ever been done to determine the best age to neuter dogs and cats.

On the other hand, current research does show that spaying before the first heat prevents the development of mammary gland tumors.
Since females can go into heat as young as four months of age, they should be spayed before then to receive that protection. Early-age, or pediatric, neutering is currently performed on animals who are six to eight weeks of age and who weigh at least two pounds.

Benefits for Guardians

Sterilizing animals makes them more affectionate companions and eliminates or reduces many behavior and temperament problems. For instance, neutered male cats are far less likely to spray and mark territory by urinating indoors, and neutering dogs reduces socially inappropriate mounting. 

Spaying female dogs and cats eliminates the heat cycle which can invoke constant howling, nervousness and the unwelcome attention of male animals. Animals who are spayed or neutered are also less likely to bite their guardians and other people.

What You Can Do to Help Our Nation 
and Save Pets Lives 

No matter how homeless animals end up in shelters—whether they are purchased from a breeder or puppy mill and later relinquished, ferals or strays picked up from the street, or lost family pets—their fate is too often to die, even though most are perfectly healthy and adoptable. 

The best that those who cannot find homes can hope for is to be painlessly euthanized by lethal injection in the arms of a caring person. Unfortunately, dogs and cats in some shelters suffer a cruel death by carbon monoxide asphyxiation with other animals in a gas chamber

Some shelters even engage in “pound seizure,” meaning they sell or give homeless animals to research laboratories for experimentation. No matter how unwanted animal companions leave this world, their deaths are always sad, as they result in the needless loss of precious lives.

If you think that just having one or two litters won't hurt anybody, this fact should change your mind: 

According to the Humane Society of the United States, 10,000 babies are born in the U.S. on any given day. On that same day, however, 70,000 puppies and kittens are born.

Match those two statistics up, and you'll see that there will never be enough homes for all the animals born in this country unless we all take responsibility for spaying and neutering our pets.

What you can do:
  • Please spay and neuter your animal companions to reduce overpopulation and urge others to do the same. If you are in need of discounted services, see the list below for information on finding a service in your area.
  • Never buy a dog or cat from a breeder or pet store. Instead, save a life by adopting a homeless animal from your local shelter.
Change begins with YOU! Spay or neuter your pet!

Spay/Neuter Laws 

At least 30 states have passed legislation requiring sterilization of cats and dogs adopted from community shelters. Many state laws charge guardians who choose not to sterilize their animal companions a substantial financial penalty. Laws are stronger in some areas of the country than in others.

Advantages of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet
  • The female cat will not have heat periods which will eliminate howling and loud meowing, all hours of the day and night 
  • Female dogs come into heat twice a year for its entire life 
  • Female cats come into heat once a month for its entire life 
  • Helps control pet overpopulation by reducing the number of litters of puppies or kittens who will need good homes 
  • Most pets become less aggressive toward people and other animals 
  • The neutered male cat has a decreased urine odor and is far less inclined to mark its territory by spraying urine 
  • The neutered male dog is less likely to mark territory and display aggression toward other dogs 
  • The spayed female cat and dog do not have reproductive tract disease problems
  • Less urinary tract infections 
  • Significantly fewer cases of mammary cancer 
  • Spaying prevents the occurrence of pyometra in females. Pyometra is a bacterial infection in the uterus. If the bacteria gets into the pet's bloodstream, it can be fatal 
  • Less likely to roam, which helps to prevent pets from becoming lost or stolen, being hit by cars, or contracting a contagious disease through fighting with other animals.
Health Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet
Provided protection (either partial or complete) from such hormone-induced conditions as:

  • Testicular cancer 
  • Benighn prostatic hyperplasia 
  • Acute and chronic prostatis, prostatic abscess 
  • Perianal gland adenomas 
  • Orchitis (infection of the testicles) 
  • Venereal tumors 
  • Perineal hernia (abdominal organs bulging out of rectum) 
  • Inguinal hernia with potential organ strangulation
  • Breast cancer 
  • Cystic endometrial hyperplasia and pyometra 
  • False pregnancies 
  • Mastitis (can occur during false pregnancy) 
  • Transmissible venereal sarcoma 
  • Ovarian and uterine tumors 
  • Cystic ovaries and hyperestrogenism 
  • Chronic endometritis 
  • Vaginal hyperplasia and prolapse 
  • Uterine torsion or uterine prolapse
Choose a Veterinarian

Choosing a veterinarian is really choosing a partner in your pets health care. Scheduled vaccinations (see Vaccination Dangers) and yearly examinations mean that you'll see your veterinarian on a regular basis, so choose wisely.

Get recommendations from friends, co-workers and other pet owners and compile an initial list of clinics. Ask them what they like about each one. Visit each clinic, introduce yourself as a potential client and ask for a tour.

Look for a clean, sterile hospital with up-to-date equipment. Ask about emergency care, hours and any equipment or terms you don't understand. Ask what the fees are for basic shots and exams. Being able to contact the office and speak to someone regarding your pet.

Cat are the #1 animal killed in shelters.We need to reduce the number of homeless cats, which would reduce the number languishing or being executed in shelters. Find out the 4 Ways To Help Homeless Cats.
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