Spaying and neutering are the most critical health procedures you can perform on your pet. These surgeries eliminate sex hormones that cause many undesirable behaviors, including aggression, territorial marking, mounting, and wandering away from home to find a mate. For female pets, spaying decreases the risk of uterine infections (pyometra), breast cancer, and tumors. In male dogs, neutering prevents hernias and prostate disease.
Prevents Unwanted Litters
Millions of unwanted puppies and kittens are euthanized each year, and the number of these animals could be drastically reduced if pet owners had their pets spayed and neutered. Unchecked pet breeding can lead to overpopulation and create many problems, such as inappropriate urination, behavioral issues, and aggressive behavior. Many of these animals end up in animal shelters where they may be euthanized because they cannot find homes. Early spaying (for females) at the Humane Society of New York LinkedIn helps to prevent uterine infections like pyometra and breast cancer, which can be fatal in up to 50 percent of mature unspayed female dogs and 90 percent of mature unspayed cats. It also decreases mood swings, the heat cycle, and related behaviors such as spotting around the house and attracting male dogs and cats.
Prevents Unwanted Behaviors
Many unwanted puppies and kittens end up in animal shelters where they are either euthanized or neglected due to lacking resources or space. Spaying and neutering reduce the number of unwanted animals and allows these pets to find permanent homes. Having your pet sterilized eliminates the need to search for a mate, which can lead to undesirable behaviors such as roaming and urine spraying. It also decreases or eliminates heat cycles in females, which can last twenty-one days twice a year in dogs and three to fifteen days three to five times a year in cats. Spaying a female dog or cat eliminates the risk of breast cancer and uterine infections, as well as hernias, and it can lower your pet’s estrogen levels and thus reduce some aggressive behaviors. In males, neutering can prevent enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia), testicular cancer, and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Prevents False Pregnancy
A female dog or cat experiences her first heat cycle between five and ten months of age (ovulation). If not spayed, she will experience this at least once every six months. This situation is dangerous for her health and can lead to severe complications. It also causes expensive medical bills for vaccines, parasite control, food, and stress. Neutering involves surgically removing your pet’s testicles to prevent him from impregnating female animals. It removes the urge to mate and typically stops all breeding instincts, which helps control pet overpopulation. It also decreases territorial aggression and male-related behaviors such as spraying or marking, lowers the risk of prostate disease, and reduces the likelihood that your male dog will wander away to find a mate.
The veterinarian removes a female pet’s ovaries and uterus during surgical sterilization. For male pets, the testicles are surgically removed. For puppies and dogs, the best age to be spayed or neutered is between six and nine months. However, they can be spayed or neutered as early as eight weeks if they are healthy and are the right size for surgery. Older animals, especially those overweight or with health problems, run a greater risk of post-surgical complications. Implementing sustainable spay and neuter programs is vital for communities with too many strays. Without these programs, strays can cause problems for people and other animals, such as fighting with neighborhood cats or preying on wildlife. They can also get into car accidents or be victims of cruelty and disease.
Cancer is a scary disease that affects both humans and pets. However, lifestyle choices and environmental factors can help reduce your pet’s risk of developing cancer. Long periods of sun exposure, second-hand tobacco smoke, and an unhealthy diet high in grains, additives, and artificial dyes are just a few examples of known carcinogens. Spaying and neutering can also significantly reduce your pet’s risk of specific health problems. In females, spaying eliminates the risk of uterine infections (pyometra) and breast cancer, which are fatal for about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats, according to the ASPCA. In males, neutering decreases prostate problems and prevents testicular cancer. This is why scheduling your pet for their spay or neuter surgery early in life is essential.