The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering  

  “Why do we have to bother spaying the puppy?” This is a comment Paws and Claws volunteers hear all too frequently.

There is an animal overpopulation problem here in Alberta, as in the rest of Canada and the United States. Puppies and kittens are very cute, but they grow up and there just aren’t enough homes for them all.  

One dog and her offspring can produce 6500 puppies in just five years. One cat and her issue may have as many as 420 000 kittens in seven years! The only responsible way to prevent adding to this crisis is to alter pets.  

Happily, spayed and neutered pets live an average of two to three years longer than those who have not been altered!  

Spaying:  

There are many misconceptions regarding spaying animals. It is not cruel; in fact, spaying your dog is the kindest thing you can do for her. The following is the advice given by many veterinary associations:

Your dog would not have heat periods nor unwanted offspring. Thousands of cats and dogs are killed every year in shelters as there are just too many unwanted animals in the world and not enough homes. The only way to halt this terrible problem is to spay and neuter pets.  

A spayed cat or dog’s tendency to roam is lessened, as is aggression.  

Spayed dogs and cats have far fewer reproductive tract disease problems. “It is actually healthier for your dog or cat never to experience a heat as it lessens the animal’s chance of getting mammary cancer, decreases the animal’s stress, and eliminates risks due to pregnancy and delivery.” 1  

Neutering:  

A neutered dog is far more content to stay at home. He is not driven to seek out females in heat, so he is less likely to try to break off his leash and dig out of his yard. The tendency to mark his territory is also lessened.  

Aggression toward other dogs is markedly reduced after neutering. (It takes about a month for the hormones to leave his system after the surgery.) Neutering your dog might just prevent some costly vet-bills incurred through fighting, or your dog attacking another’s pet.

Your neutered dog or cat’s reproductive tract will have fewer problems; he will not have as many troubles with his prostate, nor with anal tumours. His urine’s odour will be lessened.  

Male cats, too, are significantly less likely to wander, spray urine to stake out territory, and fight other cats. The odour of his urine is also not as strong after he is neutered.    

Altering:

You would not be preventing your pet from sexual gratification. Dogs and cats have sex strictly to satisfy hormone-induced instincts, not for pleasure.  

It is generally cheaper in most cities and municipalities to license an altered pet than an unaltered one. This cost difference adds up over the years!  

Finally, an animal does not get fat and lazy due to the spay or neuter procedure. Weight gain is due to being fed more calories than the animal uses.  

Please get your pets spayed and neutered! The benefits vastly outweigh the one-time expenditure.

Janet Sigurdson

Paws and Claws Animal Rescue Foundation Volunteer

1. http://www.oregonvma.org/petowners/spayneuter.asp
2. http://www.vospca.org/archive/spayneut.html
3. http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/why_you_should_spay_or_neuter_your_pet.html
4. http://www.sniksnak.com/benefits.html
5. http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/myths_and_facts_about_spaying_and_neutering.html

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