Top 7 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet
As a pet owner, one of the most crucial health decisions you’ll make is whether or not to spay or neuter your pet. While spaying refers to the veterinary procedure in which a female pet’s ovaries and uterus are removed, neutering is the removal of the male dog’s or cat’s testicles. Both procedures offer long-term health and behavioural benefits for your little furry friends, not to mention help reduce the number of innocent animals without a loving home!
If you need a little more convincing, let us guide you through the main reasons why you should spay or neuter your pet!
1) It provides major health benefits for your pet
Besides preventing unplanned litter, spaying and neutering help your pets live longer and healthier lives, free from diseases and complications. In the case of female pets, spaying helps protect them against uterine infections and breast cancer, which are often fatal. It is typically recommended to spay them before their first heat. When it comes to neutering your male pets, you’ll be protecting them against testicular and prostate cancer.
2) Your female pet will not go into heat
Upon reaching reproductive maturity, female dogs come into heat about twice a year for a period of approximately three weeks. On the other hand, female cats do not cycle at regular intervals throughout the year; they tend to come into heat according to the season and to a number of other factors. During this period, female pets are receptive to mating, can become pregnant and demonstrate behavioural changes. Spaying your female companions is the best solution to preventing those messy and annoying heat cycles!
3) It promotes better behaviour
By neutering your male dog, you’ll be preventing him from roaming away from home to find a mate. When male dogs manage to get away from home, they are at risk of getting hurt in traffic accidents or fighting with other males. Once neutered, male dogs focus their energy and attention on pleasing their human families, hence increasing their loyalty to you.
What’s more, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying urine, of strong smells, all over the house. This is more usual in male pets, but it may also be possible in their female counterparts. Several aggressive behaviours, such as excessive barking, biting, mounting and other dominance-related behaviours, would also be avoided by early neutering.
4) With proper care, your pet will not become fat
Many are reluctant to spay or neuter their pet as it is commonly believed that these procedures cause pets to become fat. Not true. Spaying or neutering doesn’t cause a pet to become overweight or obese. However, if you don’t adjust and monitor your pet’s food intake after the operation, weight gain might occur. This is because spaying or neutering leads to a loss of certain hormones and a shift in others. These changes in hormones result in a slower metabolism for neutered pets along with a simultaneous increase in their appetite. For this reason, it is recommended to feed your pet fewer calories and engage them in more exercise to keep them in good shape. Be sure to consult your vet for further guidance on how to maintain a healthy diet for your four-legged friend!
Additionally, contrary to common belief, spaying or neutering your pet won’t change their fundamental personality either, such as their protective instinct.
5) It fights pet overpopulation
It’s true that the problem of stray animals in Malta’s streets has improved drastically in recent years. However, that does not mean that we’ve solved the problem of pet overpopulation altogether. As more pet owners continue to breed their pets uncontrollably, more and more unwanted pets continue to fill animal shelters, where they struggle to be adopted by a loving family. On an international scale, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are abandoned as strays or are euthanised annually due to the increasing problem of pet overpopulation. These high figures are mainly the result of selfish unplanned litters. Spaying and neutering are the only permanent and highly effective methods of birth control for dogs and cats.
6) It is good for the community
Apart from aggravating the problem of pet overpopulation, homeless animals are also a detriment to the local community. They can prey on other vulnerable wildlife, cause traffic accidents and pose safety threats to children.
7) It is cost-effective
If the cost of the procedure is your main issue, think of it this way… caring for litter, treating infections or diseases and curing wounds would end up costing you much more than spaying or neutering your pet in the first place.