Today is SPAY DAY! Why should you get your pet spayed or neutered?
Spayed females won’t GO INTO HEAT. This means:
- No need to deal with pet-sized sanitary napkins or stains on furniture or carpets (gross!).
- No worries about Fife running away to find her Rover or attracting unknown male suitors to your yard.
- No more noisy late nights. There are few things more calculated to keep you from getting a good night’s rest than the plaintive meow-yowl of a female cat in heat. The pacing alone totally gets on my nerves. Have you HEARD the noise they make when they actually mate? And they always do it at 3 AM.
Neutered males won’t ROAM FROM HOME. This means:
- No more one-night stands. Intact males often go looking for one-night stands—they have a strong desire to escape and roam (like the bad boy in a trashy romance novel.) This “pets gone wild” attitude can increase his chances of injury by other animals or cars.
- It also provides opportunities for him to eat bad garbage or drink contaminated water.
- And then there’s the time and the legwork you’ll have to invest in creating and distributing “have you seen?” posters when you have to go look for your roaming Romeo. Not to mention the natural stress you’ll feel because he’s lost.
There are HEALTH BENEFITS for spayed females, including:
- Prevention of uterine and, ovarian cancer and a possible reduction in the risk of breast cancer.
- Prevention of pyometra, an infection in the uterus common in older, unspayed females.
- Don’t use the risk of weight gain as a reason NOT to spay or neuter. Pets get fat because we give them too many calories and not enough exercise. There may be a link between hormone changes and weight gain, but we are the gatekeepers on calories and without an over abundance of calories there can be no weight gain.
Neutered males get HEALTH BENEFITS too. They include:
- Prevention of testicular cancer.
- Can help prevent development of perianal tumors and some diseases of the prostrate.
- See bullet point above about weight gain.
Pets can get time off for GOOD BEHAVIOR:
- Your unfixed male furball will probably become increasingly protective of his territory as he ages. This can include aggression towards other animals–especially other males, and especially when the other male enters your furball’s territorial boundaries. Territorial aggression can cause fights, which can lead to injury and vet bills and possibly a legal summons. Neutered males tend to be less aggressive.
- That same unfixed male furball likes to mark his territory with pee. Females will also mark turf—especially when they’re in heat. Spaying/neutering reduces hormone levels which can reduce territorial marking.
- A “false pregnancy” can cause an unsprayed female to go through behavioral (and physical) changes associated with pregnancy—which can sometimes be very unsettling for the pet’s human.
- Neutered males tend to be less likely to exert dominance over your friends and family members. So you don’t have to apologize as often for Rex humping your neighbor’s leg.
- IMPORTANT: Just because you neuter him or spay her doesn’t mean you still don’t have to teach them good manners. Spaying and neutering is not a replacement for training.
It’s a GOOD NEIGHBOR policy:
- Spaying and neutering reduces number of animals on the streets.
- Roaming pets can prey on wildlife or other pets, can cause car accidents, and can frighten children (or adults—have you ever come face-to-face with a Great Dane looking to get laid?)
- Roaming Romeos get into your neighbors’ garbage and use your neighbors’ yards for potties—when you’re not there to pick up after them (as all responsible pet owners do). The noise they make with their late-night one-night stands keeps hard-working folks from getting a good night’s sleep. Invoke the no-roaming clause: roaming behavior can be effectively stopped with neutering.
It can be more COST EFFECTIVE. Spaying and neutering:
- Costs less than the cost of having a litter.
- Costs less than vet visit due to pet fighting while roaming.
- Can help keep municipal animal control costs down due to reduction in orphaned pets.
- Can’t afford the cost of spay/neuter surgery? Did I mention that today is national Spay Day? Many animal welfare groups have programs providing reduced cost spay/neuter services to celebrate. Check with your local groups to see what’s available to you.
SEX ED? The BIRTH module is on YouTube:
So many people say they want their dog or cat to have a litter so they can show their kids the miracle of life. There are lots of videos on YouTube showing the miracle of pet birth, so there’s no need to breed puppies or kittens to provide this lesson to your kids. And a video is so much less work for you!
Help fight OVERPOPULATION in your own backyard:
- There are different estimates as to how many pets are euthanized in shelters each year due to lack of homes–the number ranges from 6 to 12 million. That’s 16,438 to 32,877 orphan pet euthanized EACH DAY. Do you want to be part of this terrible statistic? Spay and neuter your pets. Talk to your family, friends and neighbors and help them to understand why this is so important to do.
- Two really great tools illustrate how an unspayed female pet and her mate can be a population explosion waiting to happen. Check out “Did you know?” (for cats and for dogs) on SpayUSA. Get educated about pet overpopulation!
IT’S YOUR CHOICE
In my opinion, people have a right to decide whether to spay or neuter their pets. But when you decide not to do it, I firmly believe you also take on the responsibility of not adding to the population of orphaned pets.
And if your four-legged female is pregnant, then as that female’s human partner you are responsible for providing:
- The best possible nutrition for mom and the babies.
- The best possible veterinary care for mom and the babies
- Mom with help and care during all phases of the pregnancy.
- A consistently clean and warm space for mom and her babies.
- Proper socialization for the babies according to their needs
- Homes for the babies with people you are certain will properly care for them and for re-homeing them, if things don’t work out.
In my opinion, it’s easier and more practical to spay and neuter.
Lastly, it’s NOT JUST DOGS AND CATS!
Spaying and neutering is not just for dogs and cats—rabbit reproduction speeds are no joke! Talk to your veterinarian about spaying and neutering for other pets too.