8 reasons to spay or neuter your pet

This past Tuesday was World Spay Day. In honor of this, I’ve been inspired to talk to you about why all of us in shelters continue to emphasize why spaying or neutering your pet is so important.

We aren’t doing this to hear ourselves talk; we are doing this to help your pets live a longer, healthier life. Plus, with more than 85,000 stray cats in Montgomery County alone, spaying and neutering your pets helps the community battle the overpopulation of homeless animals roaming our streets.. Here are a few reasons you should get your pets spayed or neutered.

1. Neutering your male pet provides health benefits. Yes, you will stop unwanted litters, but did you know that you can also prevent testicular cancer if you neuter your pet within its first six months? Neutering your pet early can also alleviate a lot of aggression issues related to mating down the road.

2. Spaying will give your female pet a healthier life. To offer your pet the best protection against disease, spay her before she goes into her first heat. Spaying helps prevent breast cancer and uterine infections, which can be fatal to both dogs and cats.

3. Spayed females won’t go into heat. Did you know that during breeding season female felines go into heat an average of four to five days every three weeks? To attract their potential mates they also yowl and urinate more frequently. By spaying your cat, you are eliminating their mating cycle and don’t have to worry about them making a mess all over your house.

4. Getting a pet fixed doesn’t cause it to become fat or lazy. Despite the rumors you may hear, spaying or neutering a pet will not cause them to gain weight and lose energy. A lack of exercise and overfeeding are to blame for these issues. If you maintain a healthy diet and monitor your pet’s food intake as well as provide them with frequent exercise, you will not see a problem with this. In fact, spaying or neutering your pet makes them healthier causing them to live an average of two or three years longer than pets not spayed or neutered.

5. You can stop your male pets from roaming away from home. During mating season, your un-fixed males can smell a female in heat from far away. It is their nature to find a mate at any cost. This means, they have no problem digging under your fence, escaping out the backdoor or running into traffic to get to their potential mate. Once he is out on his own, your male pet runs the risk of injury by not just traffic, but other male animals who are also on the prowl for their mate.

6. It is cost effective. The cost of surgery is far less than it will cost you to care for an unwanted litter of puppies, kittens or bunnies. Since it also helps to lower the risk of health problems in your pets, you save yourself the cost of treating your pet for expensive health issues such as cancer.

7. Your pet will be better behaved. In general, animals that have been spayed or neutered tend to show less aggression and can be more affectionate. Animals that are intact tend to show more aggression, get into more fights and bite more frequently.

8. You are helping the community. Most free-roaming cats come from unaltered animals reproducing at a rapid rate. These stray animals can pose many problems. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents or damage to a vehicle and can frighten children. By spaying or neutering your pet, you are helping us make an impact on the overpopulation issue affecting our community by helping us stop the cycle of unwanted pets in a humane and effective manner.

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