Reasons to Spay / Neuter
Even one litter contributes to the problem of pet overpopulation. Even if you are able to find good homes for all the kittens or puppies in your pet’s litter, who is to say that every one of the new pet owners will care for them responsibly?
Best for Males
Removing the male’s testicles not only prevents unwanted litters, but it also has health benefits like eliminating the risk of testicular cancer and reducing the risk of prostate problems. Neutering male dogs and cats reduces roaming, marking, and aggressive behavior. What it does NOT do is change your pet’s basic personality. Aside from these positive changes, your dog will be no less like himself than a male human is after undergoing vasectomy. For an animal, sex is nothing but a powerful instinctive urge to reproduce. Dogs and cats are much healthier and happier when neutered, and don’t suffer any kind of identity crisis or emotional reaction like a human would. It is a dog’s natural instinct to protect his home and family, and this will not change after neutering. Genetics and environment are much more influential in forming his personality than sex hormones.
An unneutered dog or cat will go to great lengths to find a female in heat, including risky behaviors like digging under fences and running away from home. Once a male escapes and is free to roam, he is at risk of fights with other males, animal abuse, or traffic injuries.
Avoid going into heat
Although cycles vary, female cats will usually go into heat for 4-5 days every 3 weeks during breeding season. As an effort to call their mates, they will yowl miserably and pee more often, and may spray urine all over the house. Unspayed female dogs will generally have a bloody discharge for about a week, and can conceive for another week or so after that. While a female is in heat, males in the area will go to great lengths to seek her out, and the female will try equally hard to escape.
Millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized in shelters each year, or suffer as strays on the street. These high numbers are the result of unwanted, unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering. Spaying and neutering provides a non-lethal solution to the problem of pet overpopulation.
When dogs and cats are neutered, they tend to focus their attention on their human families instead of finding a female in heat. They are generally more attentive and affectionate. Spaying and neutering your pets doesn’t make them fat or lazy. Overfeeding and lack of exercise are what causes obesity, not sterilization. Unneutered pets may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all around the house. Male dogs may embarrass you by mounting and humping furniture or even human legs. Problems with aggression can be avoided and reduced with early neutering, ideally between 8-10 weeks, or when a weight of 2 pounds is reached.
More Cost Effective
It costs much less to spay or neuter a pet than to raise a litter of puppies or kittens. When you factor in expenses like cleaning the carpet after your cat keeps using it as a litter box…and taking your unneutered male to the vet when he keeps getting into fights with neighborhood strays…and paying to replace the neighbor’s stuff he chewed up when he was loose and unsupervised…or the cost of….you get the picture!
Best for the Community
Stray animals pose real problems to other animals as well as to humans. They can cause car accidents, damage property, attack family pets, prey on wildlife, and frighten children. Operating kill shelters costs local taxpayer dollars, so saving lives means savings for every citizen, whether they own pets or not.
Just One Litter…
Even one litter contributes to the problem of pet overpopulation. Even if you are able to find good homes for all the kittens or puppies in your pet’s litter, who is to say that every one of the new pet owners will care for them responsibly? Once they leave your home, you have no control over what happens to them. They may end up homeless, abused, or in a kill shelter. Most of the animals who enter shelters end up being euthanized instead of adopted. Are you willing to run the risk of adding to the tragedy of pet overpopulation?
“Spaying” is a procedure that involved surgically removing a female’s ovaries and uterus. It is done under general anesthesia, and requires minimal time spent in the hospital. Females are usually back home resting the same day of the procedure. Spayed female dogs or cats are much healthier than those who are allowed to breed. Spaying prevents uterine infection and reduces the risk of breast cancer. Breast cancer is fatal in up to 50% of female dogs, and 90% of female cats. Females who are spayed before their first heat have the most protection from these diseases.
Teach Children Responsibility
Sometimes people say that they don’t want to get their pets spayed or neutered because they want their kids to experience ‘the miracle of birth’, but you know what? This is a destructive and dangerous myth. Allowing your pet to produce puppies or kittens that you have no intention of keeping actually teaches children to be irresponsible. There are plenty of videos and books that can be used to teach them about birth in a positive and responsible way. It isn’t necessary to sacrifice animals in order for children learn these important lessons.