For most new pet parents one of the first decisions facing you and your new companion is whether or not you should have him neutered. Unless you are planning on breeding your dog or cat, it is a good idea to consider spaying or neutering earlier rather than later. Consult your veterinarian regarding spay and neuter procedures and find the best options for your pet.
According to the Humane Society, a cat and her litter of kittens can produce as many as 420,000 cats in just seven years. And each year four million cats and dogs – about one every eight seconds – are put down in U.S. shelters. Often these animals are the unknown offspring of family pets. Spaying and neutering is a proven way to reduce pet overpopulation, ensuring that every pet has a family to love them (Source: The Humane Society of the United States). Taking this number into consideration, and the vast amounts of strays that are reproducing in our communities, it’s no wonder that our animal shelters cannot save all of the unwanted litters.
The pet overpopulation crisis that we are noticing today is due largely to a lack of spaying and neutering. Many of these unwanted litters are either left at our nation’s already crowded shelters or allowed to roam freely and continue to reproduce. Many people may think they are depriving their pets of something by having them spayed or neutered. In reality, there are several positive aspects to spaying and neutering pets, beneficial for both pets and their owners.
Why should you spay or neuter your pet?
- Spaying and neutering your pets tremendously reduces their risk of getting cancers and infections, thereby helping them live longer, healthier lives.
- Females spayed before their first heat are much healthier and have a lower risk of getting breast cancer. Additionally, spaying completely prevents female pets from getting uterine infections and uterine cancer.
- Neutering males prevents them from getting testicular cancer and an enlargement of the prostate gland. It also reduces their risk for perineal tumors.
- Getting your pet neutered or spayed helps prevent the overpopulation that is threatening our animal shelters today. As many as 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized every year in the U.S.
- With the low-cost spay/neuter clinics and vouchers honored by veterinarians, spaying or neutering your pet would still be much less expensive than the health costs associated with a new litter of puppies (feeding, worming, first vaccinations, etc.), or potential complications with your dog’s pregnancy and birth.
- Spaying or neutering your pet will not alter its behavior; it will only remove some of the negative instincts. For example, neutered males will neither be as aggressive nor as likely to roam, and spayed females won’t have heat cycles, which causes nervous pacing in cats.
- Even purebreds are winding up in shelters due to overpopulation caused by a lack of neutering/spaying. When considering breeding your dog, keep in mind that each puppy in your dog’s litter would take away a home that a shelter dog desperately needs.
- For those who don’t have pets, there are still millions of shelter animals that are being euthanized each year, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
Although there are many options these days to reduce the cost of neutering or spaying your pet, it can still be an expensive procedure. Fortunately, pet insurance can help reduce the cost of spay and neuter procedures. Ultimately, spaying or neutering your pet will result in a better life for you and your furry friend.
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