Why is it Important to Spay or Neuter your Pet?
Is it really so important to spay or neuter your pet? As people in the pet care business, we get asked that question a lot and our answer is always the same: ABSOLUTELY! Controlling the pet population is the most obvious reason to spay or neuter but there are also many other health benefits to your pet that make this routine surgery of utmost importance.
HEALTH BENEFITS TO YOUR PET
First, let’s define what the terms spay and neuter are:
- Spay: The surgical removal of a female animal’s reproductive organs so that she will not become pregnant
- Neuter: The surgical removal of a male animal’s testicles so that he cannot impregnate a female.
Both surgeries can be performed on the animal at a very young age; well before they are even one year old. The cost of the surgeries can vary depending on different factors such as the size and weight of the animal and what your vet clinic charges, however, most procedures are less than $200. One of the primary health benefits the surgery provides your pet is the significant decrease in the risk of certain cancers they may otherwise be susceptible to as they age. Here is a list of all the health benefits to your pet (and you) when you spay or neuter:
- Reduces or eliminates uterine and breast cancer in female animals and prostate and testicular cancer in males.
- Your pet will be more easily trained since they will not be constantly distracted by the urge to mate.
- Your pet will be less inclined to roam in search of a mate. This protects them from many dangers such as getting lost, fighting with other animals and getting hit by a car.
- Your pet will be less aggressive which means they will be less likely to bite and exhibit other inappropriate sexual behaviors toward other animals or people.
- The small expense of the surgery is minimal compared to the cost of caring for a litter of puppies or kittens and then finding suitable homes for them.
CONTROLLING THE PET POPULATION
The cost of caring for a litter of pups or kittens can be quite steep, however, the cost of over-population can be even greater than any monetary cost of pet care. According to the Humane Society, it is estimated that there are 6-8 million homeless animals entering shelters across the US every year. Sadly, many of these animals are not adopted and therefore euthanized. These are healthy pets that have landed in a shelter because they were not placed in a home. It’s sad to think that there are many, perfectly healthy pets that die each year simply because of homelessness. This highlights the importance of spaying and neutering pets; it reduces the number of potentially homeless pets that may end up being euthanized.
If you are considering buying a puppy or kitten in the coming year, please plan to have them spayed or neutered. Not only will this provide significant health benefits for them, but you will be doing your part to care for the greater pet population as well.