5 Compelling Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 07/10/20 •  6 min read
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When it comes to spaying or neutering our pets, the first thing that comes to mind is preventing unplanned puppies and kittens. While overpopulation is a major issue and something all responsible pet owners should take steps to prevent, that’s not the only reason to spay or neuter. Some people still see altering their indoor pets as unnecessary, but the truth is, it can make your pet’s life much happier and healthier. Let’s take a look at five compelling reasons to spay or neuter your pet that you probably didn’t know about!

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Ovarian, mammary, uterine, and testicular cancers are hormone-related cancers that can be life-threatening and difficult to treat. Even if your veterinarian can treat one of these conditions successfully, it will likely mean that your pet has to go through several months of uncomfortable treatment. And, those treatments will cost you thousands of dollars.

Spaying or neutering your pet eliminates the risk of these hormone-related cancers entirely and can also help to prevent some other types of cancer as well. Reproductive hormones can cause cellular damage in other organs over time, which could cause cancer. Although altering won’t eliminate the risk of all types of cancer, it can greatly reduce it.

2. Reduces Unwanted Behaviors

According to experts at Bond Vet, who offers dog & cat spay/neuter services in NYC, spaying or neutering your pet can prevent undesirable aggressive behaviors, fighting with other animals, marking in the house, and more. Animals of the same sex simply get along better when they aren’t faced with an overload of hormones. 

Not only that but animals who aren’t distracted by the desire to find a mate are better behaved in general. Animals who are neutered tend to be less hyper. For males and females, the desire to escape and roam in search of a mate is eliminated, which could save your pet’s life or keep him from becoming lost.

3. Better General Health

Spaying and neutering can result in better general health for your pet as well. For example, unspayed females are prone to pyometra, which is a potentially life-threatening infection that occurs in the uterus. It’s very common and the likelihood of this infection increases every time your pet goes through a heat cycle. Unneutered male dogs are more prone to anal gland issues and testicular infections.

Unneutered pets are also more likely to fight over mates and territory, which can lead to injuries and expose them to infectious diseases. Even if your pet is older, you can reduce the risk of these health issues and increase your pet’s life expectancy by having him or her spayed or neutered.

4. Fewer Expenses and Less Stress for You

Having a surprise litter of puppies or kittens is extremely expensive and can be a huge source of stress for pet owners. Not only will you need to provide adequate medical care for your pet, but you will also have to vaccinate and deworm the babies. And, if there are any complications or health issues with mom or babies, the veterinary expenses could be devastating.

Once the puppies or kittens are weaned, you’ll need to find them homes or you might be stuck caring for them for the rest of their lives. That’s a lot of stress that could easily be avoided by spaying your pet.

5. Neutered Pets are Cleaner

Many people don’t realize how messy unneutered pets are until they’re dealing with it on the daily. Unspayed females bleed during their heat cycle, so you’ll need to provide a diaper or keep her crated to avoid a mess in our house. Unneutered males are much more likely to urinate and mark their territory on your furniture and other areas of the house. Altering your pet can eliminate these issues.

Frequently Asked Questions About Spay/Neuter Surgery

Most veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering dogs and cats when they are about six months old. However, this can vary a bit based on the size and breed of your pet and most pets can still be altered if they are older. Your veterinarian can help you decide when it’s best based on your pet’s overall health and age.

Neutering and spaying are both done by a licensed vet with your pet under general anesthesia. You can expect to withhold food and water the night before the surgery. In most cases, your pet will need to be dropped off first thing in the morning on the day of the surgery.

Your pet won’t be aware of or feel any pain during this routine procedure. For male pets, the testicles are completely removed via a small incision that is closed with surgical glue or dissolvable sutures. Female pets will have a larger incision in their abdominal cavity where the ovaries and/or uterus have been removed. Most pets will go home at the end of the same day or early the next.

Your vet will provide post-operative care instructions. Most vets will send the pet home with an Elizabethan (or cone) collar that fits around the neck of the animal like a funnel. This is essential to keep your pet from licking, chewing, or scratching at the surgical site, which could cause a serious infection. Most pets will not require any additional medications or aftercare.

In most cases, younger pets won’t display any differences in their overall behavior. Your pet should be just as playful and loving as he always was after a short recovery period. Having the surgery done when your pet is young ensures that undesirable hormone-related behaviors don’t develop in the first place. 

On the other hand, older pets are often calmer after they are spayed or neutered. Over time, they may also be less prone to hormone-related behaviors that developed before the surgery, such as roaming, aggression, and urine marking.

Final Thoughts

The benefits of spaying and neutering far outweigh any potential drawbacks. While it can be scary to think about taking your beloved fur baby in for surgery, it is well worth it when you consider the lifetime of benefits for your pet’s health and happiness.

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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