Why It’s Important to Spay/Neuter Your Pets

“Remember to Spay and Neuter your pets.” I’m paraphrasing popular TV game show host Bob Barker. The host of the decades-long “Price is Right” always ended his shows with that reminder back in the 80’s. 

Sadly, there are still millions of unwanted animals euthanized in pet shelters across the US every year. Six million according to some statistics. As a result, February has become known as “Beat the Heat” month and we don’t mean because the temperature is hot. 

World Spay Day is Feb. 28. 

It’s a friendly reminder that in case your pet isn’t already spayed or neutered, it’s a good time to make that appointment before Spring arrives. 

3 Reasons Why Responsible Pet Parents Get Their Pets Spayed and Neutered

  1. Spring is coming – Traditionally, late Spring is “kitten” month. As every kid who grew up in the country knows, come late April/May they may find tiny kittens hidden in a less traveled part of a barn or garage. 

Those kittens are cute, but they require caretaking and feeding and veterinarian care. And if left to their own devices, they’ll grow up, and produce offspring of their own in a few months. 

  1. There are Medical Benefits – Did you know spayed female pets typically live longer? The ASPCA says spaying reduces potentially cancerous breast tumors and uterine infections. Neutering males reduces prostrate and testicular problems like cancer. Which means, it’s healthy to spay/neuter your pets. 

  2. Better Behavior – Unneutered males tend to roam the neighborhood looking for a female in heat. Roaming puts them in danger of being hit by a car or getting into an altercation with another animal. Neutered males are happy at home. Both genders are more likely to show aggression. Also, cats are more likely to “spray” their urine around the house when they’re in heat. 

All of these are less desirable behaviors in household pets. 

A surprising myth that some people use as an excuse for not spaying or neutering their pet is that it’ll make them fat. Veterinarians say it has nothing to do with weight gain. Instead, it’s the typical lack of exercise and eating too much that makes your pet gain weight. 

Spaying/neutering is cost effective and safe. The routine surgery runs up to $200 per animal depending on the facility. However, if costs are a concern, many pet shelters offer regular low-cost spay/neuter clinics. You can check with your area shelters. 

How Old Does Your Pet Need to Be for Spay/Neutering?

It varies according to the health of the individual pet, but a general guideline is the earliest is 8 weeks old. Many pet owners wait until the dog or cat is 6 months old. You can ask your veterinarian for their recommendation. 

When you think about it, it’s the responsible thing to do. As an animal lover, we all want to reduce the unwanted pet population. You can do your part by having your pet spayed/neutered.