Is my pet spayed or neutered? Should she (or he) be? The answer depends on a couple of things. Here’s a review.
Spaying or neutering is a procedure that prevents animals from making little kittens and puppies. And it can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. For dogs, life expectancy increases by 1-3 years. Cats will live an average of 3-5 years longer.
While your pet’s one year birthday used to be the earliest for this procedure, spaying and neuterinig can be performed much earlier than previously thought. Puppies and kittens as young as two months can be spayed or neutered safely. It is best to neuter before six months, because dogs and cats as young as five months can get pregnant.
The benefits of spaying a female include no heat cycles and a decreased desire to roam. The risk of mammary gland tumors and other cancers is also greatly lessened, especially if she is spayed before her first heat cycle. Of course, spaying also reduces the number of unwanted kittens and puppies who might end up at a shelter.
Neutering males reduces spraying or marking, as well as aggressive behavior. Males will also have a decreased desire to roam or run away. Cancer risks for males are also decreased, and there is a decreased risk of prostate disease.
It is common practice for shelters to spay or neuter pets before adoption. But if your pet came to your household through a breeder, the question of whether to spay or neuter may be still be up in the air. Unless you plan to show your pet, it can still be a good choice to maintain the health of your pet and of the pet community.
Where should you go? Veterinarians regularly spay and neuter animals. Other places such as animal shelters also offer this service. Check around to see what option will be best for you and your pet.
Did you spay or neuter your pet?