The Importance of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet

January 13, 2014,


You may have heard time and time again that it is important to spay or neuter your pet. Maybe you have thought about it, but do not see it as a necessity. Or perhaps you might think that your pet should not go through all the pain that surgery may cause. The truth is that spaying or neutering your pet may help prevent different types of cancers, allowing your pet to live a happier and healthier life.
Take a moment to review the following reasons that spaying and neutering pets is so important ... They may change your perspective:

• Between 3 and 4 million adoptable animals are euthanized in animal shelters each year, simply because they do not have homes.
• These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
• Spaying and neutering dramatically reduce the number of stray animals on the streets.
• The term “spay” refers to removing a female animal’s ovaries and uterus so that she cannot reproduce. The term "neuter" refers to removing a male animal’s testicles so that he cannot reproduce. Although the term “neuter” technically means the sterilization of either a male or a female animal, today it is typically used to refer to the procedure for a male animal.
• Pets should be spayed or neutered at young ages, before 6 months for a male and before a female’s first heat.
• Historic records indicate that surgical procedures to sterilize male animals date back as far as 284 B.C. Such surgeries for companion animals date back about 100 years.
• Spaying and neutering can help reduce the incidence of some of the most common types of cancers so your animal is likely to live a longer and healthier life.
• Spay/neuter surgeries can only be performed by licensed veterinarians.
• The cost of spaying or neutering a pet is less than the cost of raising puppies or kittens for one year.
• Seventy-eight percent of pet dogs and 88 percent of pet cats are spayed or neutered.
• Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering.
• Many unneutered pets have aggression problems and often mark their territory with strong-scented urine, which can make the household unbearable. Early neutering can nix aggression

Source: ASPCA, PETA, The Anti-Cruelty Society

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