Why Spay / Neuter
February is known for love, not that you need a special reason to flourish adoration on your four-legged loved one(s).
To me it’s no coincidence that this month is also National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, and thus the perfect time to consider having your dog or cat spayed/neutered if they are not yet already.
Why not show your dog your love by helping them live a happy, healthier life while also preventing increasing the homeless animal population?
Berlin, my gorgeous spayed girl, though her belly shows she had at least one before we adopted her at age 2
Did you know that cats/dogs have on average 4-6 offspring per litter?
According to http://spayusa.org, each day over 70,000 puppies and kittens are born in the US, and due to overpopulation, more than 3.7 million animals are euthanized each year in shelters across the country.
You can help.
Aide in the efforts to keep shelters clear of unwanted puppies and kittens by spaying/neutering your pets and consider adopting a pet instead of buying one since many shelters require and perform spay/neuter procedures prior to adoption. Cost a concern?
An unspayed female cat, her mate and all of their offspring, producing 2 litters per year, with 2.8 surviving kittens per litter will make:
Prevent A Litter — Spay/Neuter Your Pets
What is Spay / Neuter
Neutering Is For Males
This procedure removes the dog’s testicles so he can’t spread his seed and make puppies.
Spaying Is For Females
This procedure removes the dog’s uterus and ovaries so she can’t be a momma (again).
You should be able to take your dog home the same day and they often make a full recovery in a week if not less.
Cost A Concern
Spaying or neutering your pet is is often done through the shelter at the time of adoption, but if you’ve obtained your dog or cat in another way, this procedure can be expensive.
Since spay/neuter is currently the most effective birth control method for dogs and cats, there are typically free and low cost options available to the public no matter where you adopted your pet from, be it breeder, rescue, or a re-homing situation.
Live in Los Angeles? You can get more information at http://www.laanimalservices.com/general-information/spay-neuter/. If you’re not located in Los Angeles, contact your local animal shelter for options available near you.
If you are undecided about spaying/neutering your pet, please take a moment to read the advantages and common misconceptions below.
Advantages Of Spay/Neuter
No Need To Roam
Spayed/neutered animals no longer feel the need to roam to look for a mate. They stay home and are less likely to be involved in accidents, like being hit by a car, and contract contagious diseases.
Reduce Risk Of Some Other Cancers
Spaying or neutering your pet reduces the risk of certain types of cancer that can be terminal for your pet, not to mention expensive to treat.
Reduce Risk Of Mammary Cancer
Dogs & cats spayed before their first heat (6 mos) are virtually assured of not developing mammary cancer, a relatively common disease in unspayed females.
It's The Law
In Los Angeles it is the law to spay/neuter your pets. Fines can start at $100. It is also cheaper to register your dog with the city if they are neutered or spayed.
Avoid Fatal Infections
Spayed pets cannot develop the uterine infection called ”Pyometra,” which occurs commonly among older, unspayed dogs and cats. Pyometra is a life threatening disease.
Prevent Increasing Homeless Pet Population
Spayed animals do not go through heat cycles* or have unwanted puppies and kittens. “Heat” is when female dogs and cats prepare for mating and pregnancy.
Eliminate Unwanted Behaviors
Spaying or neutering your pet can also help reduce, if not completely eliminate, undesirable and problematic behaviors like spraying, marking and fighting.
Heat cycles occur two times a year for dogs and last 2-4 weeks, up to five times a year for cats and last 1-6 weeks, and can start as early as four months of age.
#1 My One Cat Or Dog Having a Litter Can’t Make Difference.
Sure, you might find homes for all of the puppies/kittens in your pet’s litter, but each home you find is one less available for a shelter pet that is facing euthanasia. Plus, if any of your pet’s offspring also have their own litter or litters, that is that many more pets adding to the pet population and looking for homes.
This can quickly add up to hundreds, if not thousands, of pets you could save by spaying/neutering your one pet.
#2 I keep my dog/cat indoors. Do I have to get them spayed/neutered?
Yes. First, it’s more often than not the law. Second, if your dog or cat ever gets out they can get pregnant or impregnate another dog/cat before you find them. True story — A friend of mine had a small dog who accidentally got out. She was so happy to find her that she didn’t even think about the possibility she was pregnant. Not only that, but she found out too late to abort even though it was evident she was impregnated by a much larger dog. Unfortunately her dog didn’t make it through labor due to the size of the puppies.
#3 I have a male so I’m not worried about pregnancy.
It takes two to tango. Help control the pet population.
#4 My pet’s personality will change.
This one is not wrong if your dog is post-puberty, but their personality will change for the better. Males will be less aggressive, females won’t howl, cry, and pace nervously in heat, and both genders won’t feel the need to roam looking for a mate.
It is also not wrong if your dog is pre-puberty, Some say cats’ personalities don’t fully develop they are about one year, and dogs’ between one and two years. If your pet’s personality changes after spaying/neutering at an early age, it most likely was going to change without surgery.
#5 It costs a lot.
False. Many animal shelters offer or know where to access free or low-cost spay/neuter clinics, plus it would cost a lot more to care for what could be several litters of puppies or kittens.
#6 My pet will get fat and lazy.
Just like before your pet’s spay/neuter, the best way to keep them in good health is through a good diet and plenty of exercise. Feed them the right portion of high quality food and play and train with them often.
#7 Getting spayed/neutered will make my pet sad they can’t have offspring.
Pets don’t have an emotional attachment to having offspring or a sense of gender outside of the instincts caused by their gender’s hormones. Typically these instincts cause unwanted behavior so you’re only helping by reducing their desire to roam, hump, yowl, etc.
#8 I love my dog and want more just like them.
Unless you clone your dog, it’s offspring will not be identical to them. Plus, there are too many environmental factors that helped mold your dog into the amazing pet they are today. Who’s to say you could recreate that experience? Also, there are so many other amazing and deserving pets looking for a home at your local shelter.
#9 My female dog/cat should have one heat cycle or one litter before being spayed.
Dogs that are spayed are 10 times less likely to get certain types of cancer than those that are not spayed. Though you can wait until their first heat cycle, each cycle increases the likelihood they will develop cancer later in life.
Having just one litter can lead to hundreds, if not thousands, of unwanted puppies/kittens. Save lives, don’t make lives.
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