To fix or not to fix – that is the question. Everybody loves a puppy or a kitten, and so it can be quite tempting to let your pet have at least one litter before having her spayed. There is also a huge misconception that having a male dog neutered is emasculating and cruel. And yet having your pet neutered or spayed is one of the best things that you can do for your pet and the pet population in general.
You only need to take a walk through your local animal shelter to understand that there are enough unwanted cats and dogs, puppies and kittens that sadly do not have loving homes. These animals are generally the offspring of someone’s beloved family pet, and somehow they end up in a shelter or worse, on the streets. The problem is large enough without us contributing to the situation further. Even if you know you could find homes for your pet’s offspring; that would mean approximately 5-7 rescue pets could possibly lose their chance of a home. So unless you are a breeder, spaying and neutering your pet is certainly the most humanitarian thing to do.
Aside from moral reasons, there are a number of health and behavioural benefits to having your cat or dog spayed or neutered.
Let's cut to the chase
Here are a few reasons why you should to consider the snip!
- It prevents the behavioural problems associated with being on the prowl or being in heat. Male pets can become destructive and distracted in their urge to get out and find a mate. Male cats may also start spraying. Pets on heat can be especially annoying as they become very demanding, agitated and vocal during this time. Neutered and spayed pets are generally a lot happier and less frustrated than un-fixed pets.
- It reduces aggressive, territorial behaviour and the urge to fight.
- It reduces roaming. Pets will do anything to escape in order to find a mate. Roaming increases your pet’s chances of getting in a fight, being hit by a car, getting lost or becoming a victim of cruelty.
- It prevents problems and complications of pregnancy and delivery.
- It eliminates the chance of testicular tumours and reduces the chance of prostate gland problems.
- It greatly reduces the risk of mammary gland tumours, ovarian and/or uterine cancer especially if spaying is done before the first heat cycle.
- Sterilization helps pets to live longer happier lives. In general “fixing” your dog increases his or her life by an average of 1 to 3 years, while cats have been shown to live an average of 3 to 5 years longer.
So while it’s an unpleasant experience to have to put your pet through, it’s most certainly in their best interest!