When it comes to spaying and neutering cats and dogs, you may think that the only reason to do so is to prevent unplanned litters of puppies and kittens. But, did you know that the decision not to spay or neuter can mean serious health risks for your cat or dog? There are several myths and misconceptions about spayed and neutered animals that we’d like to clear up for you. Let’s get started!
Many people think that once a cat or dog is spayed or neutered, it will become overweight and lazy. In reality, a dog’s or cat’s diet, activity level, and inherited traits are a much stronger influence on its chances of becoming overweight than if it has been spayed or neutered.
You might wonder, is it dangerous to spay or neuter my dog or cat? While there is always some risk associated with any anesthetic procedure (just as for people), healthy animals have a very low risk of surgical complications. We require pre-anesthetic blood testing to check for any abnormalities of organ function, anemia, and more. If this testing reveals anything out of the ordinary that would make the doctor hesitate to pursue the surgery, we will address the issue before going forward with the surgery.
At what age can a pet can be spayed or neutered? It is recommended to neuter puppies and kittens at 6-7 months of age or older. Puppies may also be spayed at 6-7 months of age, though it is recommended to spay kittens slightly earlier at 4-6 months of age, before their first heat cycle. For some dog breeds, it is beneficial to wait even longer than 6-7 months before spaying or neutering – this can be discussed with your veterinarian. There is no scientific benefit for allowing your dog or cat to have a litter before she is spayed. If you have questions about this, don’t hesitate to call us.
Neutering your dog or cat helps prevent many undesirable behaviors, such as urine marking, and significantly reduces the chances of prostate or testicular diseases and cancers. Spaying your dog or cat is a great way to prevent accidental, unplanned litters of puppies or kittens, reduces the risk of breast tumors and other cancers, and also eliminates the possibility that she will develop a dangerous and often fatal uterine infection, called pyometra, as she grows older.
The benefits of spaying and neutering your dog or cat are numerous! Do you have any questions or concerns about doing so that we have not addressed here? Would you like to schedule your pet to be spayed or neutered? Feel free to contact us at any time. Help control the pet population, and increase your dog’s or cat’s chances at a longer and healthier life!