Benefits of having your pets spayed or neutered

People acquire new pets every day. These pets can bring a lot of love and joy into a person’s life. However, pets can also bring with them a number of obligations. It is important to feed, water, and groom a pet. It is also important to keep a pet from destroying property, even if that means someone else’s property. However, one issue that a lot of new pet owners overlook is the issue of spaying and neutering. Often people ignore this issue because it costs money to spay and neuter a pet. Other people are concerned that it produces health risks. But, are there really any benefits to spaying and neutering a pet? If so, what are the benefits?

Animal Population Control

Perhaps the biggest reason why people might consider it beneficial to spay or neuter pets is because of pet overpopulation. Each year, the number of healthy dogs and cats euthanized range into the millions. Too high of an animal population leads to the situation where many of these pets are simply unable to find their way into homes. Spaying and neutering pets can significantly help to reduce this particular problem. Less pregnancy means fewer pets needing homes and fewer unwanted pets in overcrowded shelters that will probably be euthanized.  Unfortunately, purebred pets are not immune to this problem since about 1 in 4 dogs at the shelter are purebred; so just because you are a breeder does not mean these animals may not end up in a shelter situation too!

Reducing Rates Of Cancer

Spaying is important for a number of medical reasons. One reason to have female cats and dogs spayed is because it can decrease the risk of the pet developing mammary cancer. It is considered best to have the pet spayed before the onset of the first heat. Having the pet altered later can still result in less of a likelihood that the pet will get mammary cancer however, the risk is said to increase the longer one waits to have this done. Female pets that are not spayed can also develop ovarian and uterine cancer. Male pets are also at risk of developing cancer. In particular, many male pets can develop testicular cancer and prostatic cancer, if they are not neutered.

Other Health Complications

Although cancer is a big concern of many vets when it comes to intact pets, there are other health concerns to consider. In female pets, for example, spaying can help to prevent pyometra, which is a type of uterine bacterial infection that tends to plague older female pets. This infection is potentially fatal and usually requires expensive surgery to correct since antibiotics alone rarely fix this problem.  Male dogs are particularly susceptible to prostate issues including prostate cancer, hypertrophy, and infection.   Besides the obvious issues with these conditions they typically also impair the pet’s ability to urinate or defecate normally, greatly increasing the pain involved with these conditions.

Changes In Behavior

Many behavioral issues such as roaming, dominance or more seriously the issue of aggression can be a problem with both male and female dogs which have not been altered.  Urinating or marking in the house, spraying, and unwanted sexual behavior are all associated with intact pets. Male cats are particularly prone to spraying their territory in the house and intact male dogs are prone to demonstrating unwanted sexual behavior in the home.  These are just the most common of the health and behavioral issues that can be addressed by having your pet spayed or neutered.