Often when you adopt your pet from a rescue or shelter, they will already be spayed or neutered. If you happen to adopt a pet that is not spayed or neutered and you’re on the fence about it, there are so many health and societal benefits of getting this procedure done. Your pet, animal shelters, and society as a whole will thank you.
Helps Your Pet Live Longer
Do you want your pet to live a long and healthy life? Of course you do! One of the best things you can do for your pet is ensure that they are spayed/neutered. Female cats and dogs who are not spayed are prone to painful uterine infections and life-threatening breast tumors. Spaying your pet before they reach sexual maturity is a reliable way to offer protection from these diseases. Male cats and dogs can also avoid health problems such as testicular cancer and prostate issues by being neutered. Spaying or neutering your pet also helps decrease the biological urge to wander around in search of a mate, thereby decreasing the likelihood of your pet running away from home and becoming lost or injured.
Combat Potential Behavioral Issues
Pets that are not spayed/neutered can exhibit a plethora of undesirable behavioral traits that pets who are spayed/neutered do not exhibit. When female pets go into heat, they can become very vocal and display signs of restlessness such as pacing. Female and male pets may urinate more often, sometimes all over your house. Male dogs will be more prone to aggression.
If you think spaying/neutering is expensive, wait until you have to care for a litter. The cost of medical care and supplies for a litter of kittens or puppies will be more than the cost of the surgery would have been. Caring for a litter can also be stressful and time-consuming. Being proactive about getting your pet spayed/neutered will definitely pay off. Some Delaware residents may qualify for a low-cost spay/neuter program. Be sure to check The Guide Classifieds weekly for low-cost spay/neuter programs and events in your area.
When to Spay/Neuter
Healthy puppies can be spayed/neutered at eight weeks old. Dogs can be neutered at any stage in their life, but the younger the better as older dogs are more prone to post-operative complications, as well as dogs with pre-existing health issues. Kittens as young as eight weeks old can be spayed/neutered as well. Just like with dogs, it’s better to do this early to combat health and behavioral issues as well as decrease the likelihood of pregnancy.
Caring for Your Pet Post-Surgery
While spaying/neutering is a highly common procedure, it is still surgery and special care will be needed to encourage a speedy recovery for your pet. Your pet will come home sleepy from the anesthesia, so they need a comfortable place to rest when they get home. It is also important to prevent your pet from any overstrenuous play that could potentially pull stitches. You’ll need to keep an eye on your pet to ensure that they are not licking or irritating the incision site. Keep an eye on the incision site and call your veterinarian if you notice signs of redness or irritation, or if your pet exhibits decreased appetite, vomiting, or any other unusual health concerns. Overall, spay/neuter surgery is a common and safe procedure in which the benefits outweigh minimal risks.
Doing the Right Thing
6.5 million pets enter animal shelters each year. There is a crisis of homeless pets in America, and it is largely due to the fact that people fail to take responsibility for their pets. You may have the best intentions to keep your pet inside the safety of your home, but circumstances beyond your control could lead to your pet contributing to the homeless pet population. Let's say your unneutered cat sneaks out one evening and is missing for a week. Thankfully, they make it home safe, but the mischief they got up to this past week results in a litter of kittens. This could have easily been avoided had your cat been neutered. Humans are responsible for the domestication and socialization of cats and dogs. We have taken on the role of caretakers, and therefore, it is our responsibility that all companion animals are able to live out their natural lives in loving, caring homes. That starts with you.