Top Ten Reason to Spay and Neuter
Whether you’ve recently adopted a pet or you’re considering it, one of the most important health decisions you’ll make is to spay or neuter your cat or dog. Spaying—removing the ovaries and uterus of a female pet—is a veterinary procedure that requires minimal hospitalization and offers lifelong health benefits. Neutering—removing the testicles of your male dog or cat—will vastly improve your pet’s behavior and keep him close to home. Not convinced yet? Check out our handy—and persuasive—list of the top 10 reasons to spay or neuter your pet!
- Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life.
Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
- Neutering provides major health benefits for your male.
Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
- Your spayed female won’t go into heat.
While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house!
- Your male dog won’t want to roam away from home.
An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males.
- Your neutered male will be much better behaved.
Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
- Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
Don’t use that old excuse! Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
- It is highly cost-effective.
The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray!
- Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community.
Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets.
- Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth.
Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children—especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters. There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.
- Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation.
Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.
Copyright © 2010. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). All Rights Reserved.
Spaying and neutering offers benefits for you too
- Spaying and neutering makes your dog a better, more affectionate companion.
- Neutering dogs makes them less likely to spray and mark territory.
- Spaying a dog eliminates her heat cycle, which lasts an average of six to 12 days, twice a year. Females in heat can get blood on your furniture, exhibit nervous behavior, and attract unwanted male dogs to your home.
- Dogs that are not sterilized often have more behavior and temperament problems than dogs that have been spayed or neutered.
- Spaying and neutering can make dogs friendlier, less likely to bite.
- Neutering makes dogs less likely to wander looking for females or get into fights.
Spaying and neutering are good for your community
- Communities spend millions of dollars to control unwanted dogs.
- Irresponsible breeding is the root cause of most vicious dog bites and attacks.
- Animal shelters around the country are overburdened with surplus dogs.
- Stray and homeless dogs get into trash containers, urinate and defecate on private lawns and/or public property, and frighten or anger people who do not understand their misery or needs.
- Some stray dogs scare away or kill wildlife and birds.
Please download, print and share this flier. Be an ambassador for St. Louis’ cats and dogs.