Why Spaying/Neutering your Pet is Crucial

Getting your pet spayed/neutered probably isn’t going to be the first thing that you think about doing when you bring them home. Nevertheless, it is something that you should list as a priority in the few months of ownership. Here’s what you need to know about spaying/neutering your pet and why it is so crucial.

spay and neuter

Are Spaying/Neutering the Same Thing?

One of the most common questions we are asked relates to the terminology used around spaying and neutering. Both terms refer to the same technical pross – the surgical removal of the reproductive organs in animals. However, spaying is typically used to refer to the procedure in females, whilst neutering is used to describe the process in males.

Both surgical procedures are performed using general anesthetic to ensure that your pet is still and doesn’t experience any pain. In males, an incision is made into the front of the scrotum, through which the testicles are removed, and stalks are cut. In females, the reproductive organs are internal meaning that an incision needs to be made into the abdomen, just below the belly button. The reproductive tract, both ovaries, and the uterus are completely removed through it before the incision is closed using two layers of sutures. You will be given specific advice regarding caring for your pet following spay/neuter surgery.

Spaying/Neutering Has Health Benefits for Your Pet

Both spaying and neutering have significant health benefits for your pet, which is just one of the reasons why you should make the procedure a priority. Studies have found:

  • Spaying females prevents uterine infections in females.

  • Spaying also protects pets from breast tumors, which are cancerous in around 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. When you spay your pet before her first heat, you will ensure that she has the best protection against these diseases.

  • Neutering males prevents some prostate problems.

  • Neutering males also eliminates the risk of testicular cancer

As a responsible and compassionate owner, you will almost certainly find that the health benefits of neutering your animal are one of the most significant reasons why you opt for this elective surgery.

Spaying/Neutering Has Behavioral Benefits for Your Pet

Many owners are unaware that there are also some behavioral advantages to spaying/neutering your pet. These typically arise because of the change in your pet’s hormones that the procedure causes. Some of the behavioral benefits you can expect include:

  • Your female won’t go into heat, which can be messy and cause her to yowl and urinate more often.

  • Your female is less likely to be badgered by males.

  • Your male is less likely to roam to try and look for a mate.

  • Your male may not experience hormone-based aggression.

  • Your male is less likely to spray urine.

Reducing Animal Homelessness

Finally, spaying/neutering your pet is one of the most socially responsible steps that you can take. There are currently an estimated 70 million stray animals living in the United States, and of this 70 million, around 6-8 million go into shelters or foster homes every year. The main reason for the huge number of animals that are homeless is surrender, with many people not realizing the time, responsibility or cost involved in caring for an animal. Another reason is an unwanted pregnancy, with owners not having the time or resources to care for and/or rehome babies. Whilst younger pets have a much higher success rate when it comes to adoption, research suggests that nearly half of all animals that arrive in U.S shelters are euthanized because of the lack of space or funding to care for them.

By choosing to have your pet spayed/neutered, you are playing a crucial role in helping to reduce animal homelessness.

For more information about spaying/neutering, please get in touch with our compassionate and dedicated veterinary team in Birmingham, AL today.