Myths and Facts about Spaying and Neutering

MYTH: Spaying and neutering animals doesn’t matter

FACT: Around 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the United States simply because they do not have homes.

MYTH: An animal needs to have a litter/one heat before sterilization.

FACT: Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier.

MYTH: It’s not natural to spay/neuter and will upset my dog or cat.

FACT: The domestication of animals removed them from the “natural order” and placed responsibility for their care with humans. Applying human emotions to animals is neither realistic nor applicable when it comes to identifying a need for sterilization.

MYTH: I want my dog to be protective.

FACT: It is a dog’s natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog’s personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.

MYTH: Not fixing my pet is healthier

FACT:  Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent cats.  Neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems.  There are a number of potentially fatal health conditions and transmissible diseases that animals can contract or develop as a result of being intact and breeding; for example, pyometra, TVT, and reproductive cancers. These risks are eliminated when the animal is spayed or neutered.

MYTH: Not neutering will make him live longer

FACT: On the whole, animals who have been sterilized at an early age tend to live longer, healthier lives, potentially increasing their lifespans by an average of one to three years for dogs, and three to five years for cats.

MYTH: I do not want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.

FACT: Pets do not have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet’s basic personality. He does not suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.

MYTH: But my dog (or cat) is so special, I want a puppy (or kitten) just like her.

FACT: Your pet’s puppies or kittens have little chance of being an exact copy of your pet. Even professional breeders cannot make this guarantee. There are homeless pets waiting for homes who are just as cute, smart, sweet, and loving as your own.

MYTH: I want my children to experience the miracle of birth.

FACT: The miracle of birth is quickly overshadowed by the thousands of animals euthanized in animal shelters in communities all across the country. Teach children that all life is precious by spaying and neutering your pets.

MYTH: But my pet is a purebred.

FACT: So is at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country. There are just too many dogs and cats—mixed breed and purebred. About half of all animals entering
shelters are euthanized.

MYTH: It’s not a big deal if they go into heat

FACT: While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house!  Your male dog will be less likely to roam away from home. An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate, including finding creative ways escape from the house. Once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other male animals.

MYTH: I want to get him neutered so he will behave better

FACT: Neutering is not as a quick fix for all behavior problems. Although neutering your pet often reduces undesirable behaviors caused by a higher level of testosterone, there’s no guarantee that your dog’s behavior will change after he’s neutered. Although the surgery will reduce the amount of testosterone in your dog’s system, it won’t eliminate the hormone completely. Neutering will also not reduce behaviors that your pet has earned or that have become habitual. The effects of neutering are largely dependent on your dog’s individual personality, physiology, and history.  Your neutered male may be better behaved. Unneutered dogs and cats are more likely to mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Your dog might be less likely to mount other dogs, people, and inanimate objects after he’s neutered. Some aggression problems may be avoided by early neutering

MYTH: It’s expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.

FACT: Many low-cost options exist for spay/neuter services.  The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is far less than the cost of having and caring for a litter.

MYTH: I’ll find good homes for all the puppies and kittens.

FACT: You may find homes for your pet’s puppies and kittens. But you can only control what decisions you make with your own pet, not the decisions other people make with theirs. Your pet’s puppies and kittens, or their puppies or kittens, could end up in an animal shelter, as one of the many homeless pets in every community competing for a home. Will they be one of the lucky ones?

Helping to control the pet population is everyone’s responsibility if you have any questions or concerns about spaying or neutering your pet, please contact Meadowlands Veterinary Hospital at 201-646-2008 or www.meadowlandsvethospital.com

By |December 19th, 2017|

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