No one can resist a cute, furry little puppy or kitten … until it comes time to actually care for him long term. Those adorable pets often end up staring through the bars of cages in shelters across the country, their sad eyes begging for someone to simply take them home.
Pet overpopulation is not only sad, but it is tragic as well. That is why it is important for pet owners to spay and neuter their pets. Counties across the U.S. have low-cost spay and neuter programs, and the ASPCA website has a comprehensive Provider Database so you can easily locate a participating veterinary close to you.
There are other reasons, other than pet overpopulation, to spay/neuter your dog or cat, and they have to do with your pet’s health and safety.
Let’s start with safety.
When a dog or cat goes into heat, they naturally desire a partner, or an unaltered partner desires them. Often, one or the other will try to escape their home to seek out the other … and sometimes they succeed! Unfortunately, that means the dog or cat is on the loose and susceptible to being hit by a car, stolen, poisoned or abused in some other way. Spayed and neutered pets stick closer to home.
Okay, now we can move onto the health benefits that accompany spaying or neutering.
Did you know that unaltered pets tend to develop far more urinary tract infections and that those infections can actually be fatal to cats? That’s as good as any reason to schedule surgery, don’t you think?
Spaying/neutering reduces the risk of certain kinds of cancers in your pet, such as mammary, ovarian, uterine, and testicular. A reduced cancer risk also means a potentially reduced vet bill in the long run!
While it’s never too late to spay your pet, doing so before her first heat greatly reduces the chance that she will develop uterine infections or breast cancer.
Of course, spaying/neutering has benefits for you as well.
- As mentioned, it could save you money, considering the cost of ongoing care for a sick pet.
- It will save your carpeting and furniture – no more menstrual bleeding every six months and no more spraying to mark territories.
- Your pets will be well-behaved … or at least better-behaved. There will be less howling/yowling, efforts to escape, and physiological frustration which can lead to chewing, digging, grooming and aggression issues.
- There will be no litters of kittens or puppies to try to find homes for, so they don’t end up in a shelter.
Spaying and neutering. It’s not only a responsible thing to do, but it’s sensible, too! Click here to find a low-cost spay/neuter provider near you.