There are many reasons to spay or neuter your pet. The most obvious is, of course, to eliminate the chance of puppies or kittens. But there are also far-reaching health benefits attached to the procedure that deserve attention, too.
The bottom line? This straightforward surgery not only impacts local communities by reducing overpopulation but positively affects a pet’s long-term health and wellness as well. Win-win!
A Big Choice
Just because there are great reasons to spay or neuter your pet, it’s not always an easy choice to make. Certainly, pet surgery can be a big deal. Before you schedule your pet for their spay or neuter we recommend learning as much as possible –that’s where our veterinary team comes in.
A spay involves the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus. Also known as an ovariohysterectomy, this procedure eliminates a female’s ability to reproduce and any future heat cycles.
Neutering is the surgical removal of both testicles in a small pet. Sterilized male pets cannot mate, and many behaviors, such as wandering, aggression, urine marking, etc. are drastically reduced afterwards. While there is a perception that neutered pets gain weight, it’s important to remember that proper pet nutrition and daily exercise go a long way towards preventing obesity.
Spaying or Neutering Your Pet
Furthermore, spaying or neutering your pet has significant advantages to their future health. Fewer incidents of the following are directly related to the removal of their reproductive organs:
- Mammary tumors
- Uterine and ovarian tumors
- Testicular cancer
- Pyometra (infection of the uterus)
- Hydrometra (fluid-filled uterus)
- Prostate enlargement, infection, or cancer
As we mentioned, behavioral changes can also be anticipated. Generally speaking, sterilized pets are happier to remain at or near home, mark their territory less (if at all), and are perceived as more calm.
In essence, they become the wonderful companion you knew they could be!
That all sounds pretty incredible already, right? In addition to the increased bond between you both, spaying or neutering your pet is a great way to take care of your community. Decreasing the numbers of unwanted litters shows a commitment to the prevention of animal suffering and animal cruelty.
Puppies and kittens can typically be spayed or neutered between the ages of four and six months old. It may be best to schedule the procedure as early as possible to avoid problems related to a female’s first heat cycle or other mating behaviors.
Most pets benefit from visiting our animal hospital a few times prior to the surgery to limit possible stress or anxiety. If you’re already vaccinating and preventing parasites in your cat or dog, they’re getting used to us already!
The Big (Cuddly) Picture
With all the benefits associated with spaying or neutering your pet, we hope we’ve allayed any doubts or fears. We take pet surgery very seriously, and are happy to discuss concerns about anesthesia and postoperative care.