There are about 6-8 million homeless animals that enter into animal shelters in the United States each year. Only about half of these animals get adopted and the rest of them are, sadly, euthanized.
Why is this number so high? A big reason has to do with pet owners not spaying and neutering their pets.
Spaying and neutering is the only 100% sure way that dogs and cats are not going to breed and create unwanted litters.
Have you wondered why you should spay and neuter your pets? If so, keep reading to find out more about what benefits you can see from getting this procedure done.
Why You Should Spay and Neuter Your Pets
You’ve likely heard from others that spaying and neutering are important, but if you don’t know the benefits of doing so, why would you bother?
Truthfully, spaying and neutering your cats and dogs is a great way to keep them healthy and happy.
There are a lot of things to consider before having the procedure done, so keep reading to learn 7 reasons that you want to spay and neuter your pets.
1. Better Pet Community
The first thing you have to consider is how many pets are already out there today. Spaying and neutering your pet means they are not going to produce offspring that may otherwise end up roaming the streets or even being euthanized.
Strays are likely to cause problems in your community, including causing accidents or destroying private property. It may impact the entire community’s opinion on dogs or cats, which can lead to further issues.
If every cat and dog has a responsible caregiver, there will be more positivity surrounding pets in our local communities.
2. Eclampsia in Females
One reason that you will want to consider spaying your female cat or dog is the risk of eclampsia. This is a big threat to pregnancies and can be lethal.
If a pregnant female has low calcium levels (hypocalcemia), it may lead to seizures, heart issues, or severe shaking. A pregnant animal in this condition is experiencing a severe emergency that will need immediate medical treatment.
3. Saving Money
The cost you pay for the spaying or neutering procedure is nothing compared to the cost of paying for a litter of kittens or puppies. In addition to that, the possible medical and behavioral issues in pregnant animals will also cost a pretty penny.
There may be low-cost spay and neuter events or programs locally that you could take advantage of as well.
Animal shelters will even require that spaying or neutering is done before an animal can be adopted and this is part of the overall adoption fee.
4. Pyometra in Females
Another serious concern for pregnant cats or dogs is pyometra. This is when the uterus fills with pus.
While it is more common in dogs that haven’t been spayed, it can happen in non-spayed cats as well.
Pyometra impacts a lot of bodily functions and organs, which can kill your pet.
The kidney often gets damaged. The pus can rupture the uterus and lead to pus all over the inside of the dog’s belly.
As you can see, this is a serious condition and spaying your female pet will avoid it.
5. Breast Tumors in Females
More than 25% of non-spayed dogs are going to get breast tumors. When you spay, it will protect your female pup from this issue if you do it at the right time.
If spayed before the initial heat, your dog’s risk of having breast tumors is about 0.05%. After the first heat, it goes up to 8% and then to 26% after the second heat.
Waiting until after the dog is 2 years old will not provide protection, so you should do it sooner rather than later.
In cats, 80%-90% of breast tumors are cancerous, so spaying is very important.
6. Female Heat Cycles
Most female pets will have their initial (first) heat around 6 months old. This is why spaying is generally recommended to happen before they hit that age.
When your dog or cat is in heat, they will experience many uncomfortable symptoms. This will include swollen nipples, mood swings, a swollen vulva, male attraction, and blood from the vulva.
As you can imagine, it is not very fun to be around a dog that is experiencing all of these issues at once. If you’re not prepared to deal with the heat cycle in a female pet, it is better to have them spayed before they reach 6 months of age.
7. Male and Female Behavior
If you think that neutering your male pet is not as important as spaying your female pet, you’re mistaken!
One of the best things about spaying and neutering is the impact it has on your pet’s behavior.
An unspayed female dog may go into heat about twice a year. During this time, in addition to the aforementioned stressful symptoms, she will likely exhibit more unwelcome behaviors. This may include howling, attracting potential male mates, or urinating more often.
An unneutered male dog will likely be more aggressive. He may be more independent, which means roaming around or digging in the yard to get away from you. He also is more likely to mark inside or around the home and display more aggression.
Spay and Neuter Your Pets Today
Now that you know why you should spay and neuter your pets, it’s time to actually do it!
Check out local events or programs that will allow you to spay and neuter your pet on a budget or visit your veterinarian for more information.
There are enough dogs and cats in the world – let’s focus on keeping the ones already around happy, healthy, and safe.
For more tips and tricks to care for your pet, check out our website!