Spaying or neutering your pet is part of being a responsible pet owner. There are a lot of myths surrounding this topic, which can make it a sensitive topic for some pet owners. Against common belief, spaying or neutering will not cause your pet to gain weight or change his personality.

What Is Spaying/Neutering?

Although there are different options when it comes to spaying and neutering, typically it refers to surgical sterilization that makes animals unable to reproduce.

  • Spaying involves removing the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus from a female cat or dog.
  • Neutering involves removing the testicles from a male cat or dog.

Spay/Neuter Awareness Month

February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, so we thought we would do our part by sharing some of the benefits of spaying/neutering. Spaying or neutering your pet can help them live a longer, healthier life. Here are a few benefits of sterilizing your pet!

Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Pet

  1. Reduces or eliminates unwanted behaviors. Spaying or neutering your pet often reduces a pet’s natural breeding instinct and unwanted behaviors. Neutering helps prevent aggression, assertive behavior, and urine-marking in dogs. It can also help with spaying in cats. According to The Humane Society of the United States, neutering solves 90% of all marking issues, even in cats that have been doing it for a while. It can also minimize yowling and excessive barking.
  2. Decreases a pet’s urge to roam. Spaying or neutering your pet makes them less likely to roam and leave home. Unaltered pets have an urge to roam, which makes it more likely for them to get into fights with other animals or get hit by a vehicle.
  3. Eliminates a female’s heat cycle. Dealing with a female’s heat cycle can be frustrating. Females often yowl, urinate more frequently, and nervously pace while they are in heat. Spaying can help eliminate these behaviors because females will no longer go into heat.
  4. Protects against health problems. Spaying or neutering your pet can help protect them from future health problems. For females, spaying them can protect them from uterine infections and breast cancer. Neutering males can reduce their risk of developing testicular cancer, perianal tumors, and prostate gland problems.
  5. Increases their lifespan. The Humane Society of the United States points out that neutered or spayed pets tend to live longer. Neutered male dogs live 18% longer than unneutered male dogs, while spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs.
  6. Reduces pet homelessness. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters every year. Many of these pets are euthanized because there simply aren’t enough homes for them all. Spaying or neutering your pet is important for reducing pet overpopulation within animal shelters. 
  7. Saves you money. Believe it or not, spaying or neutering your pet is cost-effective! The cost of surgery is definitely less expensive than the cost of caring for a pregnant dog and her litter. Unaltered pets may experience future health issues related to their reproductive systems, and these costs can definitely add up! Plus, there are a variety of low-cost spay/neuter programs to help make the surgery more affordable.

Not sure when the best time is to spay or neuter your pet? Your vet can help you determine this for your pet’s specific situation. You can help your pet live a longer, healthier life, and do your part to reduce pet overpopulation by spaying or neutering your pet!