What is spaying and neutering?

Every year, millions of unwanted pets are euthanized. Pet owners can help by making sure their pets don’t have unwanted babies.

The sterilization surgery is called spaying (females) or neutering (males). Spaying and neutering not only prevents unwanted litters, it also prevents against some serious health problems which can extend your pet’s life, it can reduce unwanted behavioral issues and reduce aggression, it will also keep your pet from wanting to roam. It does not take away your male’s macho qualities. It does not cause your pet to gain weight. There are many myths surrounding spaying and neutering so if you have questions, ask your vet.

Benefits of Spaying/Neutering

Top 3 Reasons to Spay and Neuter

  • It helps to reduce companion animal overpopulation. The surplus is in the millions in the United States. Cats are 45 times as prolific, and dogs 15 times as prolific, as humans. They need our help to reduce their numbers until there are good homes for them all.
  • Spaying or neutering of your cat or dog will increase his/her chance of a longer and healthier life. Spaying or neutering your canine friend will increase his life an average of 1 to 3 years, felines, 3 to 5 years. Spayed and neutered animals have a very low to no risk of mammary gland tumors/cancer, prostate cancer, perianal tumors, pyometria, and uterine, ovarian and testicular cancers.
  • Spaying or neutering your cat/dog makes him/her a better pet, reducing his/her urge to roam and mate and decreasing the risk of contracting diseases or getting hurt as they roam. Surveys indicate that as many as 85% of dogs hit by cars are not spayed or neutered. Male cats who are not neutered and living outside have been shown to live on average less than two years. Feline Immunodeficiency Syndrome is spread by bites and cats fight a great deal more when they are not spayed or neutered.

Additional links

Understanding your dog’s reproductive cycle

Understanding your cat’s reproductive cycle

Benefits of Spaying (females):

  • No heat cycles, therefore males will not be attracted and want to mate
  • Less desire to roam and mate
  • Reduce or eliminate the risk of mammary gland tumors, ovarian and/or uterine cancer, especially if done before the first heat cycle
  • Reduce the number of unwanted cats/kittens/dogs/puppies
  • Helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives

Benefits of Neutering (males):

  • Reduce or eliminate the risk of spraying and marking
  • Less desire to roam and mate, therefore less likely to be injured in fights or auto accidents
  • Eliminate the risk of testicular cancer, and decrease incidence of prostate disease
  • Reduce the number of unwanted cats/kittens/dogs/puppies
  • Decrease aggressive behavior, including dog bites
  • Help dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives

Additional Benefits:

  • Unwanted animals are a very real concern in many communities. Stray animals are a public nuisance, soiling parks and streets, ruining shrubbery, frightening children and elderly people, creating noise and other disturbances, causing automobile accidents, and sometimes even killing livestock or other pets.
    – The American Veterinary Medical Association
  • The capture, impoundment and eventual destruction of unwanted animals costs taxpayers and private humanitarian agencies over a billion dollars each year. As a potential source of rabies and other less serious diseases, they are a public health hazard.
    – The American Veterinary Medical Association

    Information from SpayUSA.org