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EntirelyPets Guide to Spaying and Neutering

What is Spaying and Neutering?

Female dogs and cats are spayed (the removal of the ovaries and uterus) and male dogs and cats are neutered (the removal of the testicles). Both procedures are done while the animal is under anesthesia. Your pet may need a couple days of recovery time at the veterinarian’s office, and may need to have some stitches removed, depending on the procedure.

The Benefits:

Good for Pets

  • Spayed or neutered dogs and cats live longer and healthier lives.
  • A number of health problems that are difficult to treat are reduced or eliminated
  • The possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and breast cancer is greatly reduced when your pet is spayed
  • The possibility of Testicular cancer and prostate disease is eliminated or greatly reduced when your pet is neutered.
    Good for You

  • Your pet will be better, more affectionate companions
  • Neutering your cat or dog reduces the urge to spray and mark territory.
  • Spaying your dog or cat eliminated their heat cycles. This means no more incessant crying, nervous behaviors, or attracting unwanted male cats and dogs.
  • Less behavior or temperament problems.
  • Spayed or neutered dogs and cats are less likely to bite.
  • Sterilizing your pet makes it less likely to run away or get into fights with other animals.

    Good for the Everyone

  • Millions of dollars can be saved when communities do not have to control unwanted animals.
  • Irresponsible breeding contributes to the problem of dog bites and attacks.
  • Animal shelters are overburdened with surplus animals.
  • Stray pets and homeless animals get into trash containers, defecate in public areas or on private lawns, and frighten or anger people who have no understanding of their misery or needs.
  • Some stray animals also scare away or kill birds and wildlife.

    Myth Busters

    MYTH: My pet will get fat and lazy.

    Most pets get fat and lazy because they are overfed and don't get enough exercise.

    MYTH: It's better to have one litter first.

    Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age. Check with your veterinarian about the appropriate time for these procedures..

    MYTH: But my pet is a purebred.

    FACT: So is at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country. There are too many dogs and cats—mixed breed and purebred.

    MYTH: I want my dog to be protective.

    FACT: Spaying or neutering does not affect a dog's natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog's personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones..

    MYTH: I don't want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.

    Pets don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet's basic personality. He doesn't suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered..

    MYTH: It's too expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.

    The cost of spaying or neutering depends on the sex, size, and age of the pet, your veterinarian's fees, and a number of other variables. But whatever the actual price, spay or neuter surgery is a one-time cost—a relatively small cost when compared to all the benefits. It's a bargain compared to the cost of having a litter and ensuring the health of the mother and litter; two months of pregnancy and another two months until the litter is weaned can add up to significant veterinary bills and food costs if complications develop. Most importantly, it's a very small price to pay for the health of your pet and the prevention of the births of more unwanted pets.

    MYTH: I'll find good homes for all the puppies and kittens.

    You may find homes for all of your pet's litter. But each home you find means one less home for the dogs and cats in shelters who need good homes. Also, in less than one year's time, each of your pet's offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population. The problem of pet overpopulation is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.