Spaying and neutering your pet lowers their risk of serious health issues, and makes them more content to stay at home. Our team at Town and Country Animal Hospital wants to explain the importance of these procedures, so your pet can reap the benefits.
Spaying and neutering your pet is beneficial to their health
Spaying your female pet and neutering your male have numerous health benefits.
- Males — Neutering your male pet ensures they will not suffer from testicular problems, and decreases their risk for prostate issues, perianal hernias, and tumors.
- Females — Spaying your female pet prevents uterine infections, as well as uterine and ovarian cancers. In addition, if they are spayed before their first heat cycle, their mammary cancer risk is significantly reduced.
Spaying and neutering your pet has behavioral benefits
When your pet is spayed or neutered, behaviors associated with heat cycles and mating are eliminated.
- Males — Neutering your male pet makes them less prone to wander far from home searching for a mate. In addition, they are less likely than intact pets to urine-mark their territory, to be aggressive, and to mount other pets and people’s legs.
- Females — Spaying your female pet prevents them from experiencing heat cycles. During these periods, female cats yowl loudly and urinate more frequently to advertise for a mate. Female dogs tend to have a bloody vaginal discharge during their heat cycles, causing a messy situation. These issues are eliminated when they are spayed.
Spay and neuter procedures are safe for your pet
Spay and neuter procedures are performed on your pet under general anesthesia, and while risk is always involved with anesthesia, the anesthetic techniques that our veterinary professionals use are extremely safe. Your pet will be closely monitored by a veterinary professional during and after the surgery, to ensure they are healthy and safe. The spay and neuter procedures are the most common surgeries performed in veterinary medicine, and are typically completed quickly and easily.
- Cat neuter — A male cat can typically be neutered in two minutes or less. An incision is made in the skin of their scrotum, and their testicles are removed. The incision is left to heal on its own.
- Cat spay — A female cat usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes to spay, depending on her age and her heat cycle stage. Females in heat take longer. An abdominal incision is made, the cat’s ovaries and uterus are removed, and the incision is closed in multiple layers.
- Dog neuter — A dog neuter typically takes about 5 to 20 minutes. An incision is made at the base of their penis, and their testicles are removed. The incision is closed in multiple layers.
- Dog spay — A female dog can typically be spayed in 20 to 90 minutes, depending on her age and her heat cycle stage. The procedure is similar to a cat spay.
Spaying and neutering your pet saves you money
Spaying and neutering your pet prevents them from developing serious health issues that can be costly to treat. In addition, the procedures ensure your pet won’t have a litter of puppies or kittens, which can be extremely expensive.
Your pet’s species and breed determine when they should be spayed or neutered
While most pets can be safely spayed and neutered as early as 8 weeks of age, waiting until they are a little older may prevent some issues, such as orthopedic disease, in certain pets.
- Cats — Cats should be spayed and neutered before 5 months of age, when they typically enter their first heat cycle.
- Small-breed dogs — Dogs whose predicted adult weight is less than 45 pounds should be neutered at 6 months of age, or spayed before their first heat cycle, which is typically at 5 to 6 months of age.
- Large-breed dogs — Dogs whose predicted adult weight is more than 45 pounds should be neutered after growth stops, which is usually between 9 and 15 months of age, depending on their breed. Large-breed females should be spayed between 5 and 15 months of age, depending on their lifestyle and disease risk. Our veterinary professionals will help you decide when your dog should be spayed or neutered.
Spaying and neutering your pet will not cause them to gain weight
Factors that contribute to your pet’s weight gain include overfeeding and not enough exercise. As long as you feed your pet an appropriate amount, limit their treats, and provide proper exercise, they will remain fit and trim. Some medical conditions can lead to unexplained weight gain, so have your pet evaluated by a veterinary professional if they are on an appropriate diet and exercise plan, yet gaining weight.
Spaying and neutering your pet helps control the pet homelessness crisis
Millions of pets are euthanized every year, and many of these unwanted pets are products of accidental litters. A single female cat and her kittens can produce approximately 370,000 cats in seven years, and a single female dog and her puppies can produce approximately 67,000 dogs in six years. Spaying and neutering your pet ensures they can’t produce litters to contribute to this pet overpopulation.
Spaying and neutering your pet benefits your pet and helps control the pet homelessness crisis. If you would like to discuss when your pet should be spayed or neutered, contact our team at Town and Country Animal Hospital, so we can make a plan that is right for your pet.