Benefits of spaying and neutering your pet

Benefits of spaying and neutering your pet

Every year, millions of cats and dogs that don't get adopted are euthanized. However, pet owners can help reduce this problem by spaying or neutering their pets.

Some owners may be hesitant to subject their pets to pain and discomfort and opt not to do it, but the benefits of spaying or neutering outweigh the risk of routine surgery.

Your Pet's Health

Spayed (female) and neutered (male) pets live longer and healthier lives. Spaying helps prevent uterine problems and breast and ovarian cancer, especially if this is done before the first heat cycle. Neutering helps prevent testicular cancer and prostate problems.

Behavioral Issues

Unneutered dogs and cats are likely to be more aggressive. Neutering your dog or cat will decrease the animal's desire to:

  • mark territory by urinating around the house
  • roam outside, where an animal could potentially get lost, get hit by a car, or mate
  • fight with other animals

Spayed dogs and cats don't go into heat. This means that your pet won't yowl to attract mating partners, nor spray around your home.

Cost Effective

It costs far less to pay a one-time spay or neuter fee than to care for a litter or task the responsibility to a shelter. One great benefit to getting an animal from a shelter is that your new friend has already been spayed or neutered as part of the adoption fee. Many shelters offer lower cost spaying and neutering services year-round or at special events. Pima county residents can get their pets spayed or neutered for only $15, or $5 for low-income residents.


Dogs can go into heat as early as six months and can have two litters a year consisting of 6-10 puppies, depending on the breed.Cats can go into heat as early as four months and can have three litters a year with 4-6 kittens.

Spaying or neutering helps control the homeless animal population.

Millions of unwanted animals are euthanized because there aren't enough resources to take care of them. Spaying or neutering helps control the homeless animal population.Some surgical alternatives to traditional spaying or neutering exist for your pet.

For female cats and dogs, some owners may consider a hysterectomy, where the uterus and part of the fallopian tubes are removed. Another option is an ovariectomy, where the ovaries are removed.

For male cats and dogs, some owners may opt for a vasectomy where the vas deferens, which carries the sperm, is removed. However, opting for a hysterectomy or vasectomy — while making your pet infertile — may not eliminate their desire to mate and the behaviors associated with it. Owners should consider all the factors before making a decision.

While neutering or spaying does involve surgery and all surgery involves risk, it is a common procedure. In the long run, there are more benefits to spaying and neutering than risks. Talk to your veterinarian or the clinic about pre- and post-operative care you need to give to your pet.

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