The concept of spaying or neutering your furry friend can put some pet owners in a tizzy. Some people say it is an inhumane act, while others swear by the benefits of this medical procedure. In this article, we explore the benefits of spaying and neutering a pet.
1. Sterilizing your pet reduces the number of homeless animals
The fact is that there are too many dogs and cats, but not as many responsible pet owners. You cannot force someone to take on the responsibility of owning a pet, but you can limit the number of dogs and cats by spaying or neutering your pet. You may think having a litter or two is fine, but keep in mind that an average of 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the U.S. alone. Compare this to the 10,000 babies that are born on average in the country every day, and the pet overpopulation epidemic becomes very real and very clear.
The problem of irresponsible pet owners is a big one. More than 150,000 homeless cats and dogs are added to shelters in Washington State alone every year. The shelters reflect only a fraction of the pets that are given up by their families or saved from cruelty and the homelessness. There are several others that do not make it to shelters at all. Spaying and neutering your pet prevents unnecessary and unplanned births, and helps keep the population of ‘unwanted’ pets under control.
2. Spayed/neutered pets live longer
It has long been established that spayed or neutered animals tend to live longer than animals that have not undergone the procedure. It prevents breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer, each of which has a fatality rate of 90 percent in cats and 50 percent in dogs. Females are healthiest when they are spayed before their first cycle, which happens when they are 4-5 months old. For males, it is advised to get the procedure performed before they are 6 months of age, as it can help prevent prostate problems and testicular cancer.
3. Your pet will have less behavioral issues
When unaltered pets are in heat they can become more aggressive and territorial. They also tend to become easily frustrated and agitated if they cannot find a mate. Their natural instinct of finding a mating partner is very strong, and it can cause stress not just for the pet, but also for the owner. The relation between the pet and the owner can also suffer during this time, but it can be avoided completely by way of spaying or neutering.