You’ve seen the commercials — you know the ones, where sad music emphasizes sadder scenes of overlooked, under-fed animals left for naught on the streets of your city.
Each year, millions of otherwise healthy cats and dogs meet their untimely death because there aren’t enough homes for the overpopulation of pets. And while the push to “adopt not shop” and many other do-good campaigns are raising more awareness to combat overpopulation than ever, there is still more to do.
And it starts with you.
Top 6 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pets
As a proud pet owner, you may be more than aware of the push to spay or neuter your pets. Whether it was your veterinarian, neighbor, or nosey aunt who suggested it, they all have good reason for doing so.
You’re probably aware that spaying or neutering your pets is the #1 way to combat the overpopulation of potential pets put to death, but what about the benefits for your own household?
Below are six lesser-known reasons why it’s important to spay or neuter your dog or cat:
Spay away for longer, better days
Not only does spaying your female dog or cat eliminate the possibility of an unplanned litter; it will also help her live a longer, healthier life! Did you know spaying prevents uterine infections and breast cancer?
Spaying your four-legged female before she goes into her first heat is the best way to prevent these diseases, which are fatal in nearly 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Neutering can also prevent testicular cancer in your furry friend.
Beat the heat!
If you haven’t experienced the wonders of a feline in heat, be advised: it’s a less-than-pleasant process involving lots of yowling, and urinating, around the house.
Female cats usually go into heat for four or five days every three weeks during breeding season. If you do the math, that’s a lot of noise and a lot of urination.
Your dog won’t roam so far from home
Now, female dogs and felines aren’t the only ones we’re putting under the microscope. A male dog that hasn’t been neutered will go to any lengths to find a mate—from howling to running away. Aside from the stress and sadness of missing your furry family member, he is now at risk for possible run-ins with traffic or other dominant dogs.
More focus on the family
Un-neutered dogs and cats are more likely to exhibit behavioral problems like spraying odorous urine around the house to mark their territory or overt aggression. Neutered cats and dogs, on the other hand, are freed up to focus their tender loving care on their human families.
You’ll save money in the long run
Sure there’s an upfront cost to spay or neuter your pet, but it’s much less than having to nurture a litter. And you can’t put a price on peace of mind!
You’re being a good neighbor
Remember: your intact dog will stop at nothing to find a mate! And if your neighbor has a female counterpart, imagine the surprise to befall both households.
Animals left on the streets pose a problem in so many communities across the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause road accidents, and damage the environment.
Debunking the Myths of Spaying and Neutering
If you’re still on the fence, read on to learn about some of the myths associated with this important procedure.
Spaying or neutering will not make your pet “fat”
If there’s anything that will pack the pounds on your pet, it’s overfeeding and lack of exercise, not this surgery. Just like humans, animals, too, need a proper diet and a good amount of exercise for optimal living.
Neutering may not be the quick fix you seek regarding behavior problems
Neutering helps stabilize behavior by regulating testosterone levels, but there’s no guarantee that your dog will calm down. If your pet has learned behaviors through bad habits or lack of discipline, that’s an entirely different problem. The effects of neutering vary per dog, based on personality, physiology, and history.
Now that we’ve hit the hard issues, the decision lies in your lap: will you or won’t you? The future of so many animals’ lives, and the life of your own pet, could depend on it.