Why is it Important to Spay/Neuter Your Pet?

February 1, 2021
Why is it Important to Spay/Neuter Your Pet?

This month is an important one for sure! February not only revolves around hearts and chocolate, it is also recognized as National Spay and Neuter Month

As you already know, becoming a pet owner comes with a lot of responsibilities.  For example, being a responsible pet owner means more than just feeding your pet and taking them out to the bathroom. Annual veterinary visits and preventative care are an essential part of properly caring for your pet. A very key part of preventative care is spaying and neutering. 

cat in cone spay neuter

What Is Spaying and Neutering? 

So, what exactly is this procedure? Spaying is a surgical procedure performed on females to remove the ovaries and uterus. Neutering is a surgical procedure performed to remove the testicles on males. Both are done so the pet becomes sterile and cannot produce unwanted litters of puppies/kittens.

Spaying and neutering are safe and highly recommended efforts to prevent health issues and overpopulation issues among pets in the community. This one-time procedure is a small act that makes an extremely large impact. Also, having your pet fixed can lead to a happier lifestyle for the both of you.

dog with cancer at the veterinarian

The Big C: Preventing Cancer in Cats and Dogs 

A major health concern in any cat or dog is cancer. Spaying your female cat reduces the risk of them developing cancers such as Uterine and Mammary cancer. By getting your cat fixed, it reduces hormone levels that otherwise may boost the growth of cancerous tumors. Anything you can do to avoid cancer in your pet is worth your consideration.

dog and woman sitting together. best friend.

Increased Lifespan: More Time With Your Best Friend

Spaying your cat may increase their lifespan in more ways than one. Female cats go into heat several months out of the year. When a cat goes into heat, they become more stressed and out-of-character. Even worse, they will do whatever they can to get out and roam the outdoors with the one goal of finding a mate. Spaying may ease your cat’s hormones, making them less stressed, and putting them at less risk of escaping and being harmed outside. Happy tails!

Spaying your dog has many health benefits as well. Just like cats, they will experience less hormone fluctuations if they are spayed. A main health benefit of this leads to the prevention of uterine infection  in dogs. Just like in cats, spaying a female dog will stop them from going in heat and help to ease their unwanted behavioral problems as well. Dogs will be less likely to wander off or escape to find a mate if they are spayed. Additionally, studies show that spaying your dog may help your pup from having separation anxiety. https://www.nasapethospital.com/will-spaying-calm-a-female-dog/

risk of pregnancy in cats

Risks Of Pet Pregnancy 

Spaying may prevent life-threatening complications from pregnancies. Unfortunately, sometimes these pregnancies aren’t even planned. Many people don’t realize how dangerous or expensive it is to facilitate their pet’s pregnancy. Without proper medical care the offspring or even the pet may not make it out alive. Studies show that spaying your pet will increase their health overall, which will lead to a longer lifespan.

Neutering your male cat or dog prevents cancers and diseases as well.  By deciding to neuter your pet, they will be at less risk for testicular cancer and prostate cancer.

Ultimately, neutering your cat or dog increases their health and longevity. Are you starting to see a trend?

black dog in cone

Problem Pet Behaviors 

Spaying reduces unwanted behavior of your female pet. When female cats are in heat, they become very vocal and extra affectionate.

Cats go in to heat several times a year, a trust me, this can be overwhelming for cat owners! Cats who are not spayed may start to spray by urinating throughout the house to mark their territory. Just a warning, your house will become very loud and very stinky if you have a cat who is not yet spayed.

Female dogs in heat will also begin to pee more inside and outside the house to mark their territory and attract a mate. They may become more anxious and more aggressive due to the build up of hormones. 

If your dog is in heat, they will start to produce a potent, bloody discharge to let their mates know they are ready to reproduce. This is another behavior you want to avoid, as you may find yourself cleaning up blood throughout your clean floors. 

Choosing not to neuter your male cat may lead to an unpleasant household situation.  Male cats who aren’t fixed will start to spray almost anything in your house to mark their territory. Aggressiveness is another unwanted behavior that cat owners can avoid (https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/neutering-in-catsby neutering). Typically worse than females, intact males are more likely to be aggressive and fight with other males over their mate. Because of their increased hormones, intact males will also want to roam a lot more and will also try anything to take extensive measures to escape and go roam. Letting your cat roam outdoors can increase risks of health problems and harm, especially if they are acting aggressively. 

Choosing to keep your male dog intact is also a risk to unwanted behaviors. Just like felines, your intact male dog will be more likely to wander off and roam to find a mate. Dogs who aren’t fixed have a tendency to mount things around the house such as their owners legs, toys, or other pets in the house. Intact males will also lift their legs on nearly everything both inside and outside your home...yuck!

orange stripped cat in cage

Help The Whole Animal Community 

Choosing to spay and neuter your pet as an effort to be a responsible pet owner not only helps their health and behavioral needs, but also helps to control overpopulation in cats and dogs. 

This one-time procedure helps decrease the amount of homeless animals each year as well. You are making an impact on all animals within the community. Choosing to spay or neuter your animal is not only for your sake, but for animal welfare overall.

It does not only prevent overpopulation, but helps decrease the amount of homeless animals each year. No one wants to be responsible for more animals in shelters, or even worse, more animals euthanized due to overpopulation. Simply having your pets fixed will save lives and be better for the whole community. Spaying and neutering is just a small step in making a large impact on animal welfare.

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