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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

It’s World Spay Day: Will You Do the Right Thing?

2016-02-23

Every year in the United States, 2.4 healthy pets lose their lives to euthanasia because there simply aren’t enough homes for them all. That’s one animal put down every 13 seconds. If every pet owner made the commitment to spay or neuter, this number would reduce dramatically. Spaying removes a female animal’s ability to get pregnant while neutering renders a male pet impotent. However, the benefits of these procedures go far beyond permanent infertility.

Benefits of Spaying
An unaltered female cat can go into heat several times a year while dogs typically have a heat cycle every six months. Since cats don’t go through menopause as human females do, they can produce hundreds of kittens in their lifetime. The heat cycle causes a cat’s behavior to change from playful and snuggly to loud and aggressive. That is because she is trying to attract male cats with her yowls and body posture. Fortunately, a kitten or puppy can be successfully spayed as early as five months of age.

A spayed cat or dog has less desire to roam, which automatically increases her safety. The males of your pet’s species will leave her alone if she goes outdoors. In addition to preventing pet overpopulation, spaying your cat or dog reduces the risk of mammary gland tumors, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer. This risk is reduced even further if you get your pet spayed before her first heat cycle.

Benefits of Neutering
Male dogs and cats can become extremely aggressive when they are looking to mate. They are more likely to engage in roaming behavior and bite humans or other pets. They also spray urine to mark their territory, which can cause unpleasant odors that are difficult to eliminate. Once a dog or cat has been neutered, his risk of testicular cancer and prostate disease drops. This allows you to enjoy his company for many years to come.

Increase Your Pet’s Longevity While Decreasing Effect on the Community
According to the North Shore Animal League, spaying or neutering increases a dog’s lifespan by one to three years and a cat’s lifespan by three to five years. It also reduces the amount of money that communities must spend to capture, impound, and eventually euthanize unwanted pets. Feral dogs and cats can be an extreme nuisance in the community as well.

If your pet is not yet altered, we encourage you to schedule a spaying or neutering appointment with Minnesota Veterinary Hospital as soon as possible.