Why should I spay/neuter my pet?

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This is a simple question to answer. Any one seriously questioning why they should spay/neuter their pet only need to go to the local animal shelter to see the answer. One unaltered cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats in seven years*. One unaltered dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in 6 years.* Many of these unwanted animals end up being euthanized due to a lack of permanent loving homes.

Aside from being able to play an active role in reducing pet over-population, spaying/neutering has enough health benefits to convince any pet owner that it’s the right thing to do. Those benefits include:

A reduced desire to roam, thereby decreasing your pets chances of being stolen, hit by a car, injured by another animal, or being infected with a possibly fatal disease.

In males, neutering reduces the risk of getting prostate disease and eliminates the risk of testicular cancer.

Spaying in females greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer, reducing the risk almost to zero if the spaying is done prior to the first heat cycle. It also reduces the risk of disease and cancer to the other reproductive organs, such as the uterus.

Neutering males will often eliminate aggressive sexual behavior, territorial aggression, and territorial marking (spraying).

Spaying in females eliminates your pet’s reproductive cycle, which means no more ¬†spotting or mood swings.

There are also increased financial benefits of having your pet spayed/neutered. There are decreased veterinary costs because of the decreased chances of disease and cancer. A spayed/neutered animal will be less likely to roam, thereby decreasing its chances of picking up a disease which may be life-threatening and contagious. Furthermore, licensing costs less for an animal that is spayed/neutered.

For more information on the health benefits of having your pet spayed or neutered, please call your veterinarian.

* These statistics were provided by the Jacksonville Humane Society.