I believe spaying and neutering our pets is important. Neutered dogs have fewer prostate problems and no testicular cancer. It can help prevent aggressive behavior towards other animals. It helps control stray and unwanted animals in the community.
Last May I shared this story of an Oregon clinic that had begun a trial of zinc neutering, an inexpensive and non-surgical castration for male dogs. Here in the city today, the San Francisco SPCA is offering this same non-surgical sterilization in their clinic. The SF/SPCA continues to offer individual San Francisco residents free spay/neuter for pit bulls and pit mixes.
Don't live in San Francisco? Need more convincing why spay/neuter is safe and necessary for our pets?
Myth #1: It’s too expensive
PetSmart Charities offers an online spay/neuter services locator to find clinics that perform high-quality, affordable spay/neuter surgeries in your area. Go online to www.PetSmartCharities.org and click on Spay/Neuter.
Myth #2: My pets are never left unattended, so I have nothing to worry about
Half of U.S. pet owners who’ve had a pregnant dog or cat say the pregnancy happened “by accident,” according to statistics from PetSmart Charities. These accidental litters could be easily avoided by early spaying and neutering – you can never be too safe.
Myth #3: My pet is too young for this procedure
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, spaying and neutering is safe for puppies and kittens as young as eight to 10 weeks old. Spaying a female cat before her first heat cycle is more beneficial than waiting until a heat cycle has occurred. There are also many health benefits of spay/neuter that people might not know, such as:
- Reduced aggression: Cats and dogs that have been spayed/neutered are less aggressive than unaltered pets, which means fewer fights, less risk of contracting contagious diseases and lower vet bills.
- Wandering: Pets that aren’t fixed are more likely to stray away from home in search of a mate. Spaying and neutering reduces this urge, keeping your pet close to home and out of harm’s way.
- Less marking: Dogs and cats mark with urine when they are trying to “claim” their territory—like your couch. After a spay/neuter operation, pets become less territorial, and this behavior decreases dramatically.
- Fewer health problems: Pets that have been fixed are less likely to develop mammary and reproductive cancers, as well as some potentially fatal infections.
Sources: Philip Bushby, veterinarian and professor of shelter medicine at Mississippi State University; IPSOS Marketing survey (Nov. 2011).
What do you think? Do you have concerns about spay/neuter? Are there other reasons we missed? Leave us a note in the comments!