What Are the Benefits of Spays and Neuters?
Spaying and neutering is beneficial to your individual pet as well as the entire pet community. Here are the reasons we recommend surgery for every pet:
Curbs Pet Overpopulation
Without spay and neuter surgery, your pet is prone to producing an unwanted litter. Unfortunately, most of these litters are abandoned to shelters due to the expense of caring for them and the difficulty of finding them a home. Shelters are already at capacity, and adding more pets to the mix often means some otherwise healthy animals are euthanized due to a lack of space and resources. Spaying/neutering your pet helps reduce the number of unwanted pets and directly saves lives.
Spaying and neutering your pet helps prevent some serious diseases from developing later in life. Problems surgery helps prevent and even eliminate include:
- Prostate problems in males
- Mammary gland tumors in females
- Testicular cancer in males
- Uterine, ovarian, and cervical cancers in females
- Pyometra, a serious uterine infection, in females
In addition to medical benefits, the surgery also boasts behavioral benefits including:
- Reduced inclination to roam to find a mate (which could put your pet in harm’s way)
- Reduced aggression in males
- No heat cycles for females, which can be frustrating for her as well as attract the unwanted attention of intact males
- Less likely to practice urine marking and mounting behaviors (males)
When Should My Pet Be Spayed or Neutered?
Generally speaking, most pets can be spayed or neutered at about 6 months of age. However, that timeline can fluctuate based on your pet’s health, breed, and gender. For females, we may recommend surgery earlier, as long as she is a healthy weight. Spaying a female before her first heat cycle further reduces her chances of developing a mammary gland tumor later in life, many of which are malignant and can be fatal.
Additionally, for large breed dogs, we may recommend a later surgery to allow your pup to reach their full size. Reproductive hormones play a key role in controlling growth rates so a later surgery at about a year is sometimes ideal. Your veterinarian will talk to you in-depth at your pet’s first appointment about the best options for them, so we can come to a decision together.