We often hear about the benefits of spaying and neutering in the context of controlling the pet population. After all, the ASPCA reports that more than 6 million companion animals wind up in shelters every year in the United States. And this statistic doesn’t even include the number of pets that are abandoned to live in the wild, or the unwanted pets that get passed from one household to another.
Pet owners with an indoor-only cat or pets of the same gender, however, may not see why it’s important to have their pets spayed or neutered.
Did you know there are health conditions that can be prevented and undesirable behaviors that can be avoided by spaying or neutering? Read on for all the valuable reasons why spaying and neutering is an essential component of pet wellness.
Why You Should Spay a Female Pet
Dog spaying and cat spaying involve the removal of the female animal’s uterus and ovaries. Without these organs, her risk of developing uterine or ovarian cancer are completely eliminated, plus, her chances of developing the following conditions are lowered:
- Mammary Cancer: Hormones play a part in the growth of certain cancers, including breast cancer. Dog spaying or cat spaying prior to a puppy or kitten’s first cycle in heat will significantly reduce her chances of developing tumors in her mammary glands.
- Pyometra: Dog spaying and cat spaying eliminates the risk of a potentially fatal infection that can occur in the uterus of unspayed pets called pyometra.
- Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS: Intact female felines are more likely to fight over a mate, which makes them susceptible to diseases that spread through bite wounds inflicted by infected cats.
Why You Should Neuter a Male Pet
Dog neutering and cat neutering offers significant health benefits for male pets, including:
- Zero Risk of Testicular Cancer: Dog neutering and cat neutering involves the removal of the male animal’s testicles, meaning an altered male cannot develop testicular cancer.
- Fewer Prostate Problems: With less testosterone production also comes a decreased risk of developing prostate disease.
Behavioral and Other Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Pets
Altered animals make better household companions for the following reasons:
- Spaying or neutering lowers a pet’s instinct to “mark” their territory.
- Spayed or neutered pets are typically less aggressive.
- Altered pets are less likely to display “mounting” behaviors.
- An unspayed female in heat will make quite a mess in your home, and it can last for up to 10 days.
- Unneutered male dogs are more likely to be hit by cars.
- You will save money by not having to treat certain health conditions in your pets.