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8 Really Good Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

02/04/2015 by Colleen Williams
February 4th, 2015 by Colleen Williams

spay and neuter your pets

Whether you’re bringing home a new fur baby or have an unaltered pet at home, there are really good reasons to spay or neuter.

But first, a quick recap of what it actually means to spay or neuter a pet. Spaying is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus in a female animal, while neutering refers to the surgical removal of the testicles in males. The surgery is typically painless and uncomplicated; pets are under anesthesia and it’s the most common surgery performed by vets.

1. Spaying or Neutering Reduces Instances of Cancer

Cancers of the ovaries, uterus, breasts and testicles also occur in animals. Breast cancer is particularly aggressive, with a 50 percent fatality rate in dogs and 90 percent in cats. To put this in perspective, human breast cancer has a survival rate of around 90%. By removing these reproductive organs, you eliminate the chance of these conditions developing.

cone of shame

It’ll be over before you know it! Image via Creative Commons License on Flickr.

2. Your Pets Won’t Go Into “Heat”

As any pet parent of an unaltered pet knows, females go into “heat.” In an effort to attract mates, female cats will yowl and urinate excessively; female dogs will bleed. For cats, this typically occurs in the spring and summer and can continue throughout the year until pregnancy occurs. Dogs usually have only one “heat” cycle per year.

3. Prevent Litters

The most common reason pet parents spay/neuter is to prevent pregnancy. The cost of a spay/neuter is infinitely cheaper than raising a litter of puppies or kittens. Unwanted litters may be dumped or sold online; every spring animal shelters are overwhelmed with abandoned young animals.

4. The “Lazy” Myth

No one is to blame for an inactive, overweight pet but its parent! Spaying and neutering have long been rumored to make altered pets chunky and lazy. If you’re concerned about your pet’s weight, make sure he or she is getting enough exercise and eating healthy portion sizes.

5. It Prevents Wanderlust

When female pets go into heat, their potential mates pretty much lose it. Male dogs and cats go girl-crazy and will do anything to get a date – including leaving the nest. Dogs have been known to dig under fences, jump gates and claw through doors in the “heat” of the moment. Spaying or neutering keeps animals safe, at home.

6. Bad Behavior is Curbed

Male cats and dogs frequently “spray” to mark their territory, spraying extra-stinky pheromone-laden urine everywhere a potential rival can smell it. Neutering can also reduce other forms of behavioral aggression, helping your pet keep his cool.

cat neuter billboard

A promoting neutering your pets is very…eye-catching. Image via Creative Commons License on Flickr.

7. Fight Pet Overpopulation

By spaying or neutering your own pet, you’re helping the pet parents of unaltered animals as well. Outdoor cats in particular should be altered to prevent litters. By preventing fur babies, you’re also preventing homeless pets that will end up in shelters.

8. Keeping Them Safe Means Less Vet Visits 

We talked before about the costs of having litters versus altering your pet, but what about the medical costs of unaltered pets? For example, a male dog who hasn’t been neutered is more likely to escape and get into all kinds of mischief, which can include getting ticks, running into a busy street, and other accidents he normally wouldn’t have risked.

All of the above can lead to great harm or even death. By spaying or neutering your pet, you can prevent these accidents and illnesses from occurring. You can also ensure no unwanted litters are born who may end up euthanized in a shelter or become feral.

Spaying or neutering your pet is a win-win-win – for you, your pet, and hey – even the world.

While Healthy Paws Pet Insurance doesn’t cover spay or neuter surgery, we will cover any accidents or illnesses that may come along the way. Start by getting a free quote.