Spaying or neutering is the most effective means available today for preventing unwanted cats and dogs from being born, which is important, especially when you consider the fact that 2.7 million pets are euthanized the United States every year for the sole reason that they are homeless. However the benefits of spaying and neutering your pet go beyond the benefits for the community. It’s also important for reducing or even eliminating your pet’s risk of developing a number of health conditions. If you haven’t already, check out Part 1 of this series to learn the truth about the myths we’ve already uncovered. Keep reading to learn more.
A cat or a dog that has been spayed or neutered is less likely to roam and seek a mate, which means that they’ll likely get less exercise than they used to. However, spaying or neutering in itself won’t make your pet become lazy or gain weight, and there are many things you can do as a pet owner to keep your pet healthy. For instance, instead of letting your pet eat out of a full bowl all day long whenever they feel like it, limit their portions to a healthy amount, and only feed them at certain times of the day. Exercise is also important for both dogs and cats, and that is true all year round, not just when it’s nice outside in the spring and summer.
We all love our pets, and it’s no wonder why so many people want their pets to have babies, believing that they will be exact replicas of their mom or dad. However, even breeders who understand the way that bloodlines work, and know how to breed responsibly, have trouble breeding animals for certain personality traits. It’s like with children. Yes, your child may share a few personality traits with you, but they are still their own person with their own unique personality. If you want another dog or cat like the one you already have, you’d be better off going to the shelter and adopting a pet with a similar personality than you would be trying to breed miniature versions of your pet.
Many people who have purebred dogs and cats feel that it is their duty to breed their pet, especially because purebred pets are in demand. According to DoSomething.org, approximately one out of every 10 dog who is born in the United States will end up in a permanent home. And, while, yes, purebred dogs and cats are generally more adoptable and are less likely to end up in shelters than mixed breeds, the risk is just too high that they will end up without a home. Breeding your dog simply because they are purebred is simply not a good enough reason.
In general, most veterinarians will recommend that you get your pet spayed or neutered before they reach sexual maturity, which for female cats and dogs, is around four months old, and for males cats and dogs, is around six months old. Typically, it’s recommended that you get your pet spayed or neutered when they are between six and nine months old. However, many shelters will spay or neuter animals when they are far younger. This is because shelters don’t have the resources to thoroughly vet every single person who adopts a dog or a cat to ensure they will be responsible pet owners who do not allow their pets to breed or roam. Getting your dog or cat fixed at a younger age will help to give you peace of mind in knowing that your pet won’t be able to reproduce. Plus, though adult dogs can be neutered or spayed, there is a slightly higher risk that they will experience post-op complications.
Many people aren’t worried about spaying or neutering their pets because they believe that there will always be a good home for any kittens of puppies they may have. However, as we’ve learned time and time again in this blog series, you’d be lucky if you were able to find good homes for every puppy or kitten your pet has. More often than not, they will end up in shelters and eventually euthanized when no one adopts them. Additionally, preventing your pet from having unwanted puppies or kittens may be the biggest reason to spay or neuter your pet, but it isn’t the only reason. It’s also preventing your pet from developing a number of health conditions — primarily different types of cancer.
You shouldn’t let misinformation keep you from doing what’s right for both your pet and your community. If you have questions or concerns about spaying or neutering your pet, please contact our animal clinic in Carroll Gardens. We are happy to sit down with you and provide you with the information you need to make a decision you can feel good about. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.