Why Spay and Neuter Surgeries Matter
Spay and neuter surgeries are hugely beneficial for cats and dogs, promoting better behavior and helping to prevent serious reproductive diseases. Additionally, spays and neuters are incredibly important for the greater pet community. Pet overpopulation is a persistent concern, as far too many pets live as strays or are surrendered to animal shelters. Sadly, many shelters become overcrowded, resulting in untimely euthanasia for healthy pets. Pewaukee Veterinary Service encourages timely surgery for your pets so you can enjoy a longer, happier life with them.
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Spay and Neuter Myths
We know there are a lot of myths out there regarding spays and neuters, so we’re breaking down the most common ones to give you a better idea of the true benefits of these surgeries.
- Myth: My female should have one litter before being spayed for her health. Truth: Contrary to popular belief, there is no scientific evidence that suggests having one litter is beneficial. In fact, puppies and kittens who are spayed before their first heat cycle actually have a significantly lower risk of developing ovarian, uterine, or mammary cancer.
- Myth: Neutering will change my pet’s personality. Truth: Neutering your pet has no effect on their personality or natural instincts. Male dogs will still remain protective—and may even show less aggressive tendencies towards other males, which is a win all around.
- Myth: Spayed and neutered pets are more likely to gain weight than intact pets. Truth: It’s true that the decreased level of sex hormones also slows down your pet's metabolism. However, a pet only becomes overweight due to a lack of exercise and an inappropriate diet. With proper exercise and nutrition, your pet should remain trim and fit throughout their life.
- Myth: Surgery is far too expensive. Truth: The cost of a spay or neuter surgery is necessary to ensure your young pet’s safety from start to finish. What’s more, the cost of a spay or neuter is far less than the cost of caring for a pregnant pet, and subsequently her litter until they are adopted out. If they are not adopted, the cost will continue to fall to you, or you’ll have to subject them to a shelter if you are unable to care for them.
The True Benefit is in Surgery
We hope our myth-busting helped in your decision to spay or neuter your pet, but if you’re still on the fence, consider these benefits:
- Spayed females and neutered males are much less likely to attempt to escape for the purpose of roaming to find a mate—a behavior that can put them in serious danger of being hit by traffic, coming into contact with wild animals, and more.
- Spayed female dogs and cats will no longer experience frustrating heat cycles, the likes of which can attract the unwanted attention of intact males.
- Spayed females have a greatly reduced risk of developing pyometra, a serious uterine infection, as well as ovarian, uterine, and mammary cancer.
- Neutered males are less likely to practice mounting or urine marking behaviors.
- Neutered males have a significantly reduced risk of developing prostate problems or testicular cancer.
Getting the Timing Just Right
While 6 months is the general guideline for a spay or neuter surgery, that timeline can fluctuate based on a range of factors. Female kittens, for instance, can experience their first heat cycle by 4 or 5 months of age, so it is generally better to spay them earlier, as long as they are healthy enough. Furthermore, large breed dogs often benefit from their sex hormones as they help regulate their growth spurts in their first year of life. Therefore, we may recommend spaying or neutering your large breed puppy closer to one year of age, so they have time to reach their proper size before surgery.