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Why Spay or Neuter Your Pet?

Spaying is a term used to describe the ovariohysterectomy (removal of ovaries and uterus) of a female animal.

Neutering is a term used to describe the castration (removal of testes) of a male animal.  

When can I have this procedure done?

We recommend most pets to be spayed/neutered between 4 and 6 months of age.

Why should I have my pet neutered?

Animal shelters, both public and private, unfortunately are faced with an incredible burden: what to do with the overpopulation of dogs and cats for whom they cannot find homes. There are also numberous long term health benefits.

What are some of the health benefits?

Through neutering, you can help your dog or cat live a happier, healthier, and longer life. Spaying eliminates the constant crying and nervous pacing that is a sign that a cat is in heat. Spaying a cat or dog prior to its first heat cycle brings the chance of mammary (breast) cancer later in life to nearly zero. Castration stops the mating drive in males, reducing the urge to roam, which in turn, reduces the risk of fights, injury, poisoning, accidents, and contracting diseases. If you have more than one pet in your household, all the pets tend to get along better if they are neutered.

Isn't it true that you only need to "fix" female dogs or cats?

Absolutely not! A male animal can father thousands of offspring in his lifetime. Roaming tomcats fighting other cats are a neighborhood nuisance and are prone to develop infections and abscesses, as well as transmit diseases, from their fighting. An intact male may also develop the bad habit of marking its territory with urine.

Neutering just costs too much!

The cost of caring for a pet, including providing veterinary care, should be considered before acquiring an animal. There could be complications requiring hospitalization or surgery.

I don't even own a pet! Why is this my problem?

All of us are affected by animal overpopulation. Millions of tax dollars are spent annually to round up lost, abandoned, and unwanted pets. Much of that money is spent to destroy these animals when homes cannot be found.

Shouldn't every female pet have at least one litter before being spayed?

No. In fact, your pet will be healthier if she never sexually matures. Her personality will not improve either. She is just as likely to become less social and more aggressive after having a litter as she is to become calmer and gentler.

Doesn't neutering alter an animal's personality?

No. Personality changes that may result from neutering are for the better. Not being distracted by the instinctual need to find a mate helps your pet stop roaming and become calmer, though not less protective of their territory.

Won't animal shelters take care of the surplus animals?

No. Shelters do their best to place animals in loving homes, but the number of homeless animals far exceeds the number of available homes. Only spaying and neutering can end the overpopulation problem.

So, I want to have puppies, now what?

Breeding purebred dogs is a time-consuming, expensive, sometimes heartbreaking, experience. If you do decide to breed your dog, your underlying purpose should be to improve the breed, not just increase numbers or reap financial benefits.

Raising puppies is literally a full-time job, one where you receive little monetary compensation. The commitment to the litter doesn't end when the puppies go to their new homes. Things to consider include: what will you do if a puppy develops into a dog the new owner can't handle or doesn't want any more - - will you be responsible for rehoming the pet? Will you take it back? What will you do to ensure that the litter is healthy before they go to their new homes? How will you screen potential homes for pups to know that they will be well taken care of?

If you are interested in learning more about breeding your pet, please contact Ark Animal Hospital or Eastgate Veterinary Clinic for more information. 


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To enhance lives by providing compassionate healthcare to our community's companion animals.