Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pets
Whoever said its okay for your pet to have a litter first before spaying has probably never owned a dog or cat. There are actually many good reasons to spay/neuter that go far and beyond the trend of reducing the number of unwanted pets born each year. Spaying and neutering has several benefits that are also good for the health of your pet. Let’s take a look at them here:
The Healthy Reasons To Spay/Neuter Pets
1 – Your Female Cat or Dog Will Live A Better Life
Essentially, when you spay a female pet, you have instantly reduced her risk of developing serious health issues. They include infections that can form in the reproductive tract, which could be passed on to litters and the risk of developing mammary tumors is also reduced.
2 – Your Male Cat or Dog Will Also Live A Much Better Life
Much like with females, when you neuter a male pet the probability of developing health issues is greatly reduced. Examples include testicular tumors, prostate and urinary conditions. There are also diseases that just affect cats – feline AIDS, feline leukemia – that are removed from the picture as exposure is eliminated with spaying or neutering.
3 – Your Pet Will Behave Much Better
There is a definite line dividing two camps on this issue. We will just focus on the one we support and this is that spaying/neutering your pet will reduce certain habits. For example, males will not be inclined to exhibit their testosterone-fueled actions that may include roaming, marking and aggression. Spaying will also remove the tendency for females to engage in fights.
The Proper Time To Spay/Neuter Your Pet
There are some considerations that dictate the timing of this procedure. However, there exists no definite schedule to follow. That’s simply because each breed of cat or dog is different. However, since your puppy or kitten did not come with an owner’s manual, there are a couple of ways to determine when you should book the vet appointment for a spay or neuter procedure.
1 – The General Rule: Around 6 Months of Age
As stated, there is no real definite date when you should consider spay/neuter day. But, in the past few years the general timeline is at about six months of age. The reasons for this come from the following:
A – The time is felt to be appropriate in order to address behavior, health and welfare issues.
B – Spaying/neutering an animal at 6 months of age is relatively easy and an affordable procedure. Having it done on an older dog or cat is somewhat more complicated. More complicated equals more money to get the job done.
The Other Side Of The Spay/Neuter Coin
Here’s where the six month timeline gets tossed out of the window for various other reasons. Each of them have validity and quite honestly, the decision is up to you as to when you decide to book this appointment with your vet.
A – Rescue animals should probably be spayed/neutered ASAP. This is to prevent unwanted litters and can mean the procedure is done at a very early age which has proven to have no ill effects on the animal as they age.
B – Responsible pet owners tend to fall into the region where their pets are spayed or neutered at an age that ranges from six to nine months. As stated above, this form of surgery is not complicated at this age, costs less and recovery is quick.
C – Some pet owners, and breeders, prefer to hold off on spaying and neutering for personal reasons. However, there is proof that supports this to a point. Many large breed animals benefit from a later spay/neuter procedure.
How Do We Feel About This Whole To Spay Or Not To Spay Issue?
Well, we like consulting with experts so the first thing we would do is chat with our vet about this. We already know that the discussion will include such factors as breed, size and lifestyle of our dog/cat so we would expect those to have some impact on the timing. We also know the importance of reducing the number of unwanted pets born in litters that just happen naturally when intact pets are allowed to roam neighborhoods. We love puppies and kittens but don’t want to contribute in any way to this problem. That’s how we would approach the topic and yes, we would proceed with spaying/neutering of our pets. We believe it to be the best for them and us.
How Your Pets Body Condition Can Affect The Procedure
Consider the different types of bodies that various dog breeds have. Then think about the differences between a six month old puppy body and that of an adult dog. Add to the mix the difference between a small puppy body and that of an obese dog. The more obese your dog or cat is at the time of spaying/neutering, the more complicated the procedure becomes. This is one reason why the suggested age is ‘around’ six months and this will keep costs down for you.
Tips On Surviving The Recovery Period
After you dog or cat has had their procedure, they will be groggy from the anesthesia that was required during the spaying/neutering. There are going to be stitches at the incision location. Your pet will either have to wear a cone to prevent excessive licking of the incision location or some other method will be employed. What is most important is the recovery instructions your vet will give you. These are not general suggestions.
They are strict guidelines that must be followed in order for your pet to recover fully and not develop any kind of complication along the way. This means playing catch or jumping up and down are off limits until the incision has properly healed. Be sure to do a follow-up visit with your vet in order to confirm that the healing is complete and that your dog or cat is in the right condition to slowly resume their normal life.