Spaying and neutering your pet is not only good for their overall health, but it also helps control the pet homelessness crisis. According to the ASPCA, “Millions of healthy dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States each year simply because there aren’t enough homes to go around.” Read below to learn the importance of spaying/neutering your pet.

Medical Benefits

Female Pets: prevents uterine infections and decreases the chance of breast tumors, malign or cancerous.

Male Pets: prevents testicular cancer and prostate problems.

Behavioral Benefits

Female Pets: prevents from going into heat, during which female pets howl and urinate frequently, usually all over their home.

Male Pets: curbs male pets’ instinct to find a mate, which can result in trying to escape their home and potentially putting them in harm’s way. Male pets who are neutered are also less likely to mark their territory at home and mount people or other dogs.

Common Misconceptions

  • Spaying/neutering will cause your pet to become overweight: False, lack of exercise and overfeeding causes obesity in pets, not neutering.
  • Neutering will eliminate all behavioral issues: False, neutering helps reduce the level of testosterone which can cause behavioral issues, but does not completely eliminate it. Every animal has their own personality and behavior.

When To Spay Or Neuter Your Pet

Six to nine-months-old is the standard window for having your dog spayed or neutered, but puppies as young as 8-weeks-old can be neutered if they are healthy enough. Adult dogs can be neutered as well, although there is a higher chance of post-surgery complications for older dogs, overweight dogs, and dogs with health issues.

Post-Surgery Care

  • Give your pet time and space to rest while they recover. Prevent them from running and playing normally for up to two weeks following surgery, or as long as your vet recommends.
  • Use an e-collar to prevent your pet from licking their incision site, which may cause an infection.
  • No baths for at least ten days after surgery.
  • Perform daily checks of the incision site to ensure proper healing.