The Importance of Spaying/Neutering a Pet

When you get a new pet, you should make an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible to spay or neuter them, if they have not already had the procedure done.

Spaying/neutering your cat or dog is the best way to set your pet up for a long, happy life. There are a number of behavioral and medical benefits to spaying and neutering.

The American Animal Hospital Association recommends spaying or neutering cats by five months old, small-breed dogs (less than 45 pounds) by five or six months and large-breed dogs by the time they finish growing, between nine and 15 months. Your veterinarian can help you determine when the best time is for your pet to get spayed or neutered.

Here’s a quick look at some of the biggest benefits associated with spaying and neutering dogs and cats:

  • Longer life: Spaying in particular is associated with extending the lifespan of female animals. Spaying a cat when she is between three and six months old practically eliminates the chances of mammary cancer, and also helps prevent a wide range of infections and cancers that could affect the ovaries or uterus.
  • Better behavior: A neutered dog or cat is much less likely to demonstrate aggressive behavior. They will also be less likely to mount people, animals and objects, and will not engage in territory-marking behavior, such as spraying urine around the house to show their ownership of the property.
  • No worries about the pet going into heat: Cats that aren’t spayed will go into heat at around six months, stay in heat for six days and repeat that cycle every three weeks or so in season. During this time, the cat could bleed or spray urine, and will be much louder or whinier. Dogs go into heat twice a year and urinate and bleed excessively during that time. By spaying your pet, you can avoid these behaviors and prevent your pet from going into heat.
  • Happier nature: Pets that are spayed or neutered are generally happier at home. Males are less likely to wander away or get into fights with othered animals, as neutering halts testosterone production. Female cats and dogs are much more comfortable and less demanding after they’ve been spayed.
  • Avoid overpopulation: This is especially an issue with cats, particularly cats that spend time outside. One of the biggest reasons for a large stray population is outdoor cats that are not spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering cuts down on stray populations and avoids overcrowding in animal shelters.
  • Financial benefits: When you spay or neuter your pet, you will save a fair amount of money in the long run by preventing some serious health problems and avoiding damage to your home caused by an aggressive or territorial animal. While you will have to pay for the spaying or neutering appointment, this upfront cost pales in comparison to what you might otherwise have to spend on vet bills or property damage over the course of your pet’s lifetime.

Contact the experts at Cannon Veterinary Services Ltd. today to learn more about the benefits of spaying and neutering cats and dogs, or to schedule an appointment for your pet.