Owning a pet often forces us to make certain decisions about their health and spaying and neutering is one topic every dog & cat owner should be informed about, especially if your pet isn’t already spayed or neutered when you bring them home for the first time.
Spaying is a general term used to describe the ovariohysterectomy of a female animal. Neutering is a general term used to describe the castration of a male animal. However, neutering is often used for both genders. The procedure is a surgery that is performed by a veterinarian, and the goal is to render the animal incapable of reproducing.
Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat. Rather, lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds. The following list addresses some of the other benefits of spaying and neutering;
- Spaying and neutering can reduce the incidence of some of the most common types of cancers, making it more likely for animals to live longer and healthier lives.
- Your male dog will be less likely to roam away from home.
- Your female dog won’t go into heat.
- Your neutered male dog may be better behaved and not mark his territory the way unneutered dogs do.
- Your dog may also be less likely to mount other dogs once they’ve been neutered.
- More cost-effective because you won’t have to pay for caring for an entire litter of new pups.
The best time to spay or neuter your pet depends on what kind of pet you have. If you have any questions or want to get a professional opinion about the procedure for your own pet, please ask your veterinarian. For dogs, the traditional age range is between six to nine months, but adult dogs can be neutered/spayed as well, there is just a higher risk for post-surgical complications, especially in dogs that are overweight or have other health issues. For cats, kittens as young as eight weeks old can be spayed or neutered, but it’s typically suggested you get it done before your cat is five months old.
A long-term benefit of spaying and neutering is improved health for both cats and dogs. Spaying females prior to their first heat cycle nearly eliminate the risk of breast cancer and totally prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer. Neutering males prevent testicular cancer and enlargement of the prostate gland and greatly reduces their risk for perianal tumors.
Pet owners should work with their veterinarians to determine the appropriate sterilization ages for individual cats and dogs. Veterinarians are encouraged to work with clients, especially those who are well known and likely to permit an unwanted pregnancy to occur prior to surgery. Short-term and long-term health risks for each animal should always be assessed. There is some research being done into the development and use of nonsurgical methods of sterilization, which could reduce costs and make it easier for more people to afford spaying and neutering.
There are approximately 3.7 million animals that get euthanized at shelters every year because there are not enough willing adopters. Having your pet spayed or neutered ensures that you will not be adding to this terrible issue of an overpopulation of dogs and cats.
Many states and counties have established low-cost spay/neuter programs that make surgery easily affordable and accessible. The cost of spaying and neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for one year.
If you’d like more information or would like to get your pet scheduled for spaying or neutering, please call us at 541-383-3833, we would be happy to help you with your beloved companion!