Reasons to Spay/Neuter
3 Important Reasons to Spay/Neuter your Cats and Dogs
**WARNING: This post has graphic medical images that may be too much for some viewers.
If you are in the animal rescue world, you know the importance of spay/neuter. Each years, millions of “unwanted” animals die in shelters across the country. It’s safe to say that the amount of unaltered animals in the country is directly linked to this disturbing statistic.
Think of it like this… Dogs and cats are not like humans when it comes to pregnancy. Most of the time humans give birth to one child with the small exception of some cases. With cats and , litters can include 3 babies, 8 babies, or even 12 or more babies. The cat and dog reproduction rate is pretty much exponential if you consider each of those female offspring producing more babies.
Cats and Dogs are Killed in Shelters
This to me needs to be first as it should be the most important reason. There is by no means, a shortage in cats and dogs needing good homes. Until shelters stop killing healthy, adoptable animals for space then there is no need for more. I understand puppies and kittens are adorable, but WE DON’T NEED MORE!
You can pretty much go anywhere and find a stray or feral cat. Dogs are often picked up as “strays” (which were likely dumped by owners because most domesticated dogs are not just living on the streets for years). Why in the world would we need more cats and dogs when the ones that are present now don’t all have homes yet?
Volunteering, I meet a lot of different people. I get to interact with some amazing people, but I also come across some of the worst people. I will literally be helping at a vaccine clinic at a local animal shelter. Someone with an over bred, essentially neglected pit bull mama comes in with her 8 puppies. To them that’s easy income. Meanwhile, I know of so many dogs (particularly pits) that I could list off that were killed in that very shelter for no other reason than they were “unwanted”. In fact, I still have their precious faces saved as photos in my phone.
Then we offer resources to spay/neuter the parents and they refuse. They feel bad to take the manhood away from the males and see dollar signs all over the mama. Of all the breeds, we really do not need anymore pit bulls or other bully breeds. They are my favorite breed, but sadly they are killed most frequently. Like I said, we don’t need more!
Spay/Neuter is Better for Health Reasons
In the long run, fixing your cat or dog is better for their health. Have you ever seen the uterus of a dog with Pyometra? If not, here’s a picture of the infected uterus of a pit bull I fell in love with while volunteering.
According to VCA hospitals: “Pyometra is a secondary infection that occurs as a result of hormonal changes in the female’s reproductive tract.”
If she had gone any longer with that inside of her, she likely would’ve died a terrible death.
It can also help prevent tumors and cancer in their breasts, testicles, and prostate.
Additionally, you should realize that an unaltered female cat or dog will go through menstrual cycles. A period is not fun to manage as a female human, so why would you want to manage that with a cat or dog? It’s messy and smells even with the use of diapers or other contraptions.
You can consult with a veterinary professional for more information in regard to this matter.
It Could Help with Some Behavioral Concerns
I am no animal behaviorist, trainer, or vet. However, based on my years of experience with dogs, (primarily) it seems that this mainly affects the male dogs. Some of what I speak of here is based on experience with volunteering, fostering, and petsitting. I have been around thousands of altered and unaltered animals.
Dogs have a heightened sense of smell. If the males smell a female in heat, they will likely want to find her. This can cause male dogs to roam and escape. This then could lead to an unintentional pregnancy which starts the cycle again. It could also lead to other dangers like dog attacks, car accidents, injury, or even death.
Unaltered dogs can be more territorial and dominant. This could lead to more aggressive types of behavior or undesirable behavior such as humping/mounting. Unaltered male dogs and cats typically mark in the house more than altered males.
Having unaltered pets together (especially of the same sex) can also make it more challenging to introduce them to one another.
Of course, there is no guarantee that just because you fix your pet that it will not do the things mentioned above, but it is very likely it can help in some ways.
There is this myth that so many people throw out there that it will make their pets lazy and overweight. Your pet’s weight is often dependent on you as the owner. Your pet’s personality does not change drastically either. I have seen plenty of spayed/neutered pets that still are playful, fun, and energetic even just a week after the procedure.
Prevent Unwanted Litters
If you need any resources for spay/neuter to help prevent unwanted litters and unnecessary killing in shelters, click here for local Georgia resources.
If you are not local, then you can simply Google low cost spay/neuter in your area and I’m sure there is something out there to assist you.
“Spay/Neuter Your Pet.” ASPCA, www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/spayneuter-your-pet.
Ward, Ernest, and Malcolm Weir. “Pyometra in Dogs.” vca_corporate, vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/pyometra-in-dogs.