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Why should you Spay/Neuter your pet?
As a pet owner, we know you only want what is best for your animal. One of the questions some pet
families struggle with, is whether or not to have your animal spayed/neutered. We have some
information that should help ease this decision.
First, let’s start with what this process is. Spaying is the sterilization of a female animal. This is done by
removing the female animal’s uterus and ovaries surgically. Neutering is the sterilization of a male
animal. This is done by castrating the male animal surgically, in other words, removing the male animal’s
testicles. These operations are very routine at nearly all veterinary clinics, and generally only take
between 15-90 minutes, depending on size of the animal and heat cycles. After the surgery, the incision
can take up to 14 days to heal. The ideal/traditional age to have your pet spayed/neutered is between 6
to 9 months old, but can be done at any age beyond 6 months. There is a higher risk of post-operative
complications in overweight animals, older animals, and animals with pre-existing health problems, this
is why we recommend having the surgery between 6-9 months old. According to Petpedia, around 85%
of all dogs in the US have been spayed/neutered.
There are many medical benefits of spaying/neutering your pet. Neutering your male animal can
lengthen its lifespan. It prevents testicular cancer and other prostate problems. Spaying your female
animal also lengthens its lifespan. Your female will no longer go into heat. Spaying prevents uterine
infections. It can also decrease the chance of breast tumors, which are cancerous in about 50% of dogs,
according to ASPCA. There is one common misconception, it is that your animal will become overweight
if they are spayed/neutered. This is not at all true. Ensuring your animal has proper diet and exercise is
very important in keeping your pet physically fit and healthy, regardless of spay/neuter status.
There are also behavioral benefits to spaying/neutering your pet. Male dogs will more likely follow their
basic urges if intact (unneutered.) They will mark territory, mount other animals, and possibly be more
aggressive towards other animals. Male dogs also tend to roam away from home, or even try to escape
from your home/yard/property, to find a mate. All these behaviors can be avoided by simply having
your male neutered. Pleases note though, that having your animal spayed/neutered is not a “fix” for all
behavior problems. The procedure reduces hormone and testosterone levels, but does not eliminate
them all together. Both genders will also be safer, and reduce the risks of injury due to fighting with
other animals, and all the risks associated with leaving home unsupervised.
When you are ready to spay/neuter your pet, there are many resources at your disposal. You can
contact your veterinarian or even local animal shelters or rescues to ask about services in your area. Low
Cost options are also available. Locally, FACE is a great low cost animal clinic. You can also reach out to