Neutering is done by removing testicles of male pets, while spaying involves removal of entire reproductive tract (uterus and ovaries) of female pets. In fact, neutering or spaying your pets offers a great deal of benefits for the pets, for yourself and also for the community. Dogs, cats, rabbits, hedgehog and even tiny pet like hamster can be spayed or neutered. This article will focus mainly on the benefits of spaying or neutering the most common domestic pets: cats and dogs.
1. For male dogs or cats
Neutered male dogs or cats won’t roam away from home. When male dogs or cats sense female dogs or cats are in heat, the urge to mate will drive them to escape home. When male dogs or cats are free to roam outside your house, they risk of being injured in traffic or fight with other animals. Neutering can help to decrease the urge of your pets to mate and keep them safe at home.
Neutered dogs or cats are well behaved. Testosterone is the source of many unwanted behaviours like aggression and mounting or humping (grasping with the forelegs and thrusting the pelvis). Neutered dogs or cats are less aggressive toward other male animals and people. As puppies or kittens reaches sexual maturity, they will start to mount other animals. Though mounting is a normal behaviour, it is quite embarrassing to see your cats or dogs mount other animals, your furniture and even your legs. Since mounting is a hormonal activity, neutering your pets could significantly reduce their mounting behaviour.
Dog mounting or humping
Neutered dogs or cats are less likely suffering from prostrate disorder and other testicular-related disease. Neutering your pet can prevents testicular cancer or tumors and prostrate problems like prostrate infections, enlarged prostrate and perineal hearnias in male dogs or cats. Studies found that neuter male dogs or cats are able to live longer than the un-neuter one.
Neutering can reduce tendency of urine marking. Male dogs and cats particularly often use urine as a mean to mark their territory. Another function of urine marking is to advertise their reproductive ability. Neutering not only can significantly reduce urine marking in male dogs and cats., it can also eliminate the odour of the urine.
2. For female dogs or cats
Spaying female dogs or cats reduce the risk of uterine infections and breast cancer. Uterine infection and breast cancer are serious health problems. Breast cancer or mammary cancer is pretty common among dogs. Spaying your female pets before their first heat will offer them maximum protection from these diseases.
Spayed female dogs and cats won’t go into heat and create unwanted problems. Female dogs or cats in heat will attract male dogs or cats in the neighbourhood. This may cause disturbance to the family members if those male cats or dogs make a lot of noises outside your house. Besides, female cats and dogs in heat tend to yowl and urinate more frequently, often outside the litter box and sometimes they have bloody discharge. You will certainly have a hard time cleaning up the mess they created.
3. For both dogs or cats
Neuter or spay your pets can prevent the spread of bad genes. Puppies or kittens may inherit genetic diseases like hip dysplasia, heart disease and eye conditions from their parents. Puppies or kittens that inherit genetic diseases from their parents usually don't live long.
4. For pet owners
Neutered dogs and cats are easier to train. As mentioned above, neutered male cats and dogs are more well behaved, and thus making them easier to train. They won’t roam free on the lookout for receptive female dogs or cats and cause trouble for you.
Neutering or spaying your pets is cost effective. The cost of a spay or neuter procedure is normally $200, which is far less than the cost of caring for a litter. According to a report by ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), average first year cost of pet ownership for a medium sized dog and cat is roughly $1200 and over $500 for the following years. Moreover, the cost of a spay or neuter surgery is a one-time expense. Once it’s done, you won't have to do it again. The cost of spay or neuter surgery is just a small price to pay for the health of your pets and prevention of unwanted birth.
5. For the community
Spaying or neutering your pets can help control the population of cats and dogs. Cats and dogs in the United States for instance, are overpopulated. According to ASPCA, approximately 1.5 million of shelter animals (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats) are euthanized each year in United States. Spaying or neutering your pets means fewer cats and dogs will be euthanized and the number of stray animals on the street will be greatly reduced. Stray animals indeed cause a lot of trouble to the community. Stray cats and dogs rummage the garbage cans, scare people, cause car accidents, and damage property.
Best age to spay or neuter you pets
The best time to spay or neuter your pet is still debatable. It is believed for years that the best time to spay or neuter you pets is when your pets are around 4 to 6 month of age and weighed more than 2 pounds. Since female dogs or cats can go into heat as early as 4 month of age, they should be spayed before that to receive protection.
Spaying or neutering your pets does offer many benefits to the pets and to you and your community. However, it is not entirely without risk. Should you spay or neuter your dog or cat? Consult your vet before you make decision.