Pet owners who think they have a legitimate reason for not spaying or neutering their pet will vehemently debate this topic. But it’s an important part of every pet’s health care.
Spaying is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus in a female. Neutering is removal of the testicles in a male.
And neutering is also the general term used for the procedures in both males and females.
There is no legitimate reason to not neuter your pet. Unless you are a responsible professional breeder of purebred dogs or cats breeding to maintain the characteristics of the breed, you should spay or neuter your pet.
Both procedures have lifelong health and behavioral benefits.
Spaying helps prevent uterine infections, and cancer of the breast, ovaries and uterus. These are all usually fatal in dogs and cats.
In fact, when I was a child one of my dogs died suddenly from a uterine infection. For some reason unknown to me, my parents didn’t spay her. I would never repeat that mistake with my own dogs. It was devastating!
In males, neutering prevents testicular cancer. And those intact males will roam. They’ll do anything to find a female. That includes digging under fences and finding escape routes out of your home. An animal on the loose can be hit by a car or injured in a fight with another male.
People who choose not to neuter their pet have some misconception about what it means to do so.
If one of these 9 myths is stopping you from spaying or neutering your pet, please rethink your position.
Myth 1: My pet is a purebred and they’re too beautiful not to breed.
1 out of every 4 pets brought to shelters are purebred. You are adding to the problem of overpopulated shelters if you breed your pet. Even if you can find homes for the babies in your litter that means fewer homes for the purebreds in the shelter.
Myth 2: My pet will get fat and lazy.
The only reason pets get fat and lazy is because their owners feed them too much and don’t give them enough exercise.
Myth 3: My pet has such a great personality; I must breed them to get a whole litter of puppies or kittens just like my pet.
There’s no guarantee of that. The best breeders in the world can’t guarantee the personalities of the puppies or kittens in a litter.
Myth 4: Spaying/neutering is expensive.
This is not true. Many states and counties have low-cost spay/neuter programs. Here’s a link to the low-cost spay/neuter finder at the Humane Society of the United States.
The cost of not fixing your pet is likely to be substantially higher. A litter requires expensive veterinary care and vaccines.
When your intact male gets out of your house and sustains injuries in a fight or run in with a car, the vet bills will be a lot more expensive than the cost of neutering him.
And another added expense is licensing. Counties charge higher fees to license an intact dog than a dog that’s spayed/neutered.
Myth 5: I want my children to experience the miracle of birth.
This is not a good reason to add to the pet overpopulation problem. YouTube is a video treasure trove of dogs and cats giving birth. If you want your kids to experience birth, have at it.
Myth 6: I don’t want my dog to lose his protective personality.
If your dog has a protective personality, he has that trait because of genetics and environment not sex hormones. He will be just as protective after he’s neutered.
Myth 7: I don’t want my male dog or cat to feel less male.
This is your worry… not his. Pets don’t “feel” male. He will have no emotional reaction to being neutered and it will not change his personality.
Myth 8: I’ll find good homes for all the puppies or kittens my pet has.
No, it’s likely you won’t. Even if you do find them homes, you can’t be sure they’re all good homes. And you have no control over what happens to those animals once they leave your care. For all you know, they may end up in a shelter. Or their puppies or kittens might.
There are many more benefits than drawbacks to neutering your pet. Besides their health and reducing the pet overpopulation problem, your pet will behave better.
Dogs will bark less, mount less and be less dominant. You can often avoid aggression problems by neutering early.
Cats will mark less, yowl less, and urinate less often if they’re fixed.
But most importantly your beloved pet is likely to live longer. A 2013 article in USA Today revealed the results of a study that showed neutered male dogs live 18% longer than unneutered males. Spayed females live 23% longer than unspayed females.
And who doesn’t want to give their pet every opportunity to live a longer healthier life?
When you decide to spay or neuter your pet, speak to your vet about the timing. The common recommendation is between 5 and 9 months. But studies show benefits to waiting until after puberty.
What are your thoughts about neutering your pet? Share in the comment section at the top of the page.