It’s not all about puppies and kittens.
We’ve all heard that it’s important to spay or neuter our animals, but do you know exactly why? Spaying and neutering animals isn’t done only to prevent an animal from giving birth (though that is definitely one of the reasons). The procedure also prevents serious medical conditions, conflicts between animals, and other behavioral challenges.
Here are 5 reasons why it’s important to spay or neuter your companion animal.
1. PREVENT SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITIONS
When you spay or neuter your dog or cat, you’re helping to protect them from serious medical conditions such as cancer.
Spaying female dogs and cats doesn’t only prevent them from giving birth. It also eliminates the possibility that they will have uterine or ovarian cancer and drastically reduces their chances of developing mammary cancer. Additionally, it prevents potentially deadly pyometra, an infection of the uterus.
Neutering males protects them from prostatic hypertrophy and infections, testicular cancer, and several kinds of hernias.
2. HELP WITH CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS
Female animals in heat will bring all the boys to your yard and they may even try to break into your house. That is definitely something that you do not want. Cats in heat also yowl loudly and frequently and become aggressive.
Un-neutered male cats and dogs will be similarly eager to mate and that can affect their behavior radically. Ruled by testosterone, not only will they be breaking your windows to get out and find a female counterpart, but they will also generally be more likely to be aggressive towards both humans and animals (inside and outside of your home).
3. KEEP THE POPULATION IN CHECK
There’s no denying that puppies and kittens are ridiculously cute, but did you know that each year an estimated 920,000 shelter animals who do not find homes are euthanized in the United States alone? They are the unwanted offspring of unaltered house pets. And that is not even counting the hundreds of thousands of kittens and puppies that are born outside and don’t survive their first weeks of life. Each of us has the power to help these animals who end up without homes. One easy way to do that is to spay or neuter your own animals.
4. PREVENT ROAMING
A cat or dog who isn’t spayed or neutered will almost certainly try to get out of your house in an effort to mate. A large percentage of the lost animals that come to DCSPCA are unaltered and presumably ran away because of hormonal impulses. Lost animals can easily be killed by traffic or predators, or be stolen. How easy is it to minimize the chances that your dog or cat will stray, simply by spaying and neutering?
5. YES, IT ALSO KEEPS THEM FROM HAVING PUPPIES OR KITTENS
It’s true. Spaying and neutering cats and dogs prevents them from having puppies or kittens. You will not have to worry about any furry surprises in your home. Many people mistakenly believe that their pet’s temperament will change, that somehow the pet won’t be their true selves after altering. Your pet’s temperament will change—for the better! They will not be anxious to get away from you to find opportunities to make babies. They will not suffer from hormonal urges that they can’t fulfill. They will not be subject to contagion or injury from contact with other possibly unvaccinated animals. Instead, they will be happy, content, healthy companions who will live longer lives. Spaying and neutering is a win-win-win-win-win situation.
DCSPCA’s Public Clinic offers low-cost spaying and neutering procedures. Find out more here.