The Muli-Faceted Benefits of Spay and Neuter Surgery
If you've ever wondered about the impact of spay and neuter surgery on pets, you're in the right place. From reducing unnecessary euthanasia due to pet overpopulation to providing individual medical and behavioral benefits, spay and neuter surgery is multi-faceted. At St. Paul Pet Hospital, we're here to guide pet parents on why and when they should have their four-legged friend spayed or neutered.
Removing the ovaries and uterus of a female pet is a veterinary procedure that requires minimal hospitalization and offers lifelong health benefits:
- Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
- Your spayed female won’t go into heat. While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat for four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house!
Removing the testicles of your male dog or cat will vastly improve your pet’s behavior and keep him close to home. Neutering provides major health benefits for your male:
- Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age. Your male dog won’t want to roam away from home. An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males.
- Your neutered male will be much better behaved. Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
Contrary to popular belief, spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat. Don’t use that old excuse! Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake. In addition, spaying or neutering offers pets benefits outside medical ones:
- It is highly cost-effective. The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray!
- Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community. Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets.
- Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation. Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
Should you decide that spaying or neutering is the right decision for your pet, be assured that at St. Paul Pet, we take the same care with spaying and neutering as we do with all of our veterinary surgeries. Your pet is in good, skilled, compassionate hands. For more information on spay and neuter surgery, visit ASPCA, and let us know if you have any questions!
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