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Why It’s Important To Neuter Or Spay Your Pet

March 1, 2024

As unique as each person is, so too are their pets. Many factors affect Fido and Fluffy’s care, including age, size, breed, and health. While our opinions on the best ways to exercise and feed dogs may differ, spaying and neutering is something we strongly suggest for every dog and cat. This article features the thoughts of a Grundy, IL veterinarian who explains why.

Combating Pet Overpopulation: How to Fix Your Pet

Reducing the number of unwanted litters is the most important reason to get dogs fixed. Unfortunately, animal hoarding, neglect, and abuse sometimes include an overabundance of pets, which is a major problem in and of itself. Millions of cats and dogs are put down each year. The fate of millions more is in our hands.

Animals living on the streets face numerous challenges, including but not limited to: disease, injury, parasites, extreme temperatures, and lack of shelter.

Babies, especially puppies and kittens, are undeniably precious. However, there is no way to guarantee that your pet’s descendants, including the litters of their descendants, will thrive, even if you manage to find homes for your pet’s litter. There are already too many abandoned animals in the world; taking this step is the responsible thing to do.

You would be wrong to think that your pet would have no impact. In only nine years, a pair of cats may produce 2,072,514 offspring! Fido follows closely behind: in just six years, a litter of two puppies can produce as many as 67,000 offspring, with an average of six to ten puppies every litter.

The Health of Fixed Pets Is Enhanced

Spaying and neutering also has medical benefits. Not only will the treatment greatly decrease the likelihood of your pet acquiring prostate, breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer, but it will also practically remove the risk of genital cancers. A lower incidence of urinary tract infections is another benefit of spaying or neutering your pet. Preventing these problems is far easier and less expensive than fixing them after the fact. For more particular information, consult your Grundy, IL veterinarian.

Fixing Pets Reduces Roaming

Leaving your pet unattended increases the likelihood that it may become lost, hurt, or even killed. There are an endless number of dangers that can harm cats and dogs, such as vehicles, extreme weather, wildlife, chemicals, parasites, illness, and so on.

After getting your pet fixed, they won’t feel the need to seek out romantic partners. No more dealing with Fido attempting to escape from under the fence or your cat frantically trying to bolt every time you open the door. There are a lot of reasons why pets strive to get away, but the need to mate is definitely a major one.

Fixed Pets Live Longer

I bet you didn’t know that fixed pets typically have longer lifespans. When you give it some thought, it all makes sense. There are no longer any dangers associated with pregnancy and delivery for your pet. Dogs are especially vulnerable to these dangers; for example, if a large dog mates with a little dog, the mother and her young could lose their lives due to size incompatibility.

Not only are fixed pets safer, but they are also less prone to injuries caused by wandering. It is not out of the question for an unaltered male cat or dog to engage in conflicts with other unattended males on the street.

Getting Fixed Calms Pets

Getting your pet fixed will also make them feel better emotionally and mentally, which is a huge plus. Lessening the hormonal cravings might have an unexpected impact. A decrease in destructive habits including digging, chewing, and attempting to get away could be noticed. Furthermore, most fixed pets are generally more relaxed. You shouldn’t be surprised if Fluffy and Fido start cuddling more as well. Their attention will be entirely on you after they lose their desire to locate a partner. The focus of their universe revolves around you, after all.

Fixed Pets Spray Less

That alone might be enough to justify scheduling the operation. As a territorial marking tactic, pets frequently spray. After surgery, the desire to do this usually goes away entirely. Although some mature animals may continue to spray following surgery, the majority of pets will no longer exhibit this habit.

Fixing Cats Reduces Yowling

This may be a bonus, but we can’t overstate its significance. Our hearts go out to you if you’ve ever overheard a feline roaring its love song. In a style that has nothing to do with music, Fluffy enjoys making her solitary status known loud and clear. Some cats might actually enjoy the noises, but the most of us are glad they didn’t make us listen to their meows and screams.

Our Advice on Why It’s Important To Neuter Or Spay Your Pet in 2024

At what age should pets ideally be spayed or neutered?

Pets should ideally be spayed or neutered between six to nine months of age. This timeframe allows for the pet’s physical development while minimizing the risk of reproductive health issues. Early spaying or neutering helps prevent certain cancers, reduces the likelihood of behavioral problems, and curbs the risk of overpopulation. However, some veterinarians may recommend different timing based on the pet’s breed, size, and overall health. Always consult with a veterinarian to determine the best age for your specific pet, ensuring optimal health and well-being.

Are there any risks or potential complications associated with spaying or neutering?

Spaying or neutering pets carries minimal risks and potential complications, as with any surgical procedure. Common concerns include reactions to anesthesia, post-operative infections, and slight changes in metabolism. However, these risks are generally low, especially when performed by a skilled veterinarian. The benefits, such as reducing the likelihood of certain cancers, preventing unwanted litters, and decreasing behavioral issues, far outweigh the potential complications. Proper pre-operative evaluations and post-operative care significantly minimize these risks, ensuring a safe and beneficial outcome for the pet. Always discuss any concerns with your veterinarian.

Are there any breed-specific considerations when it comes to spaying or neutering?

Breed-specific considerations are essential when deciding on spaying or neutering. Larger breeds, such as Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds, may benefit from delayed procedures, ideally around 12 to 18 months, to allow for proper growth and joint development. Smaller breeds, on the other hand, can often be spayed or neutered earlier, around six to nine months. Additionally, some breeds may have higher risks of specific health conditions that can influence timing and decision-making. Consulting with a veterinarian familiar with breed-specific needs ensures the best outcomes for each individual pet.

How long does it take for pets to recover from the surgery, and what kind of post-operative care is required?

Pets typically recover from spaying or neutering surgery within 10 to 14 days. Post-operative care involves keeping the pet calm and preventing vigorous activity to avoid strain on the incision site. Owners should monitor for signs of infection, such as redness or swelling, and ensure the pet does not lick or chew at the stitches, often using an e-collar if necessary. Administering prescribed pain medications and following the veterinarian’s guidelines for wound care and activity restrictions are crucial for a smooth recovery. Regular check-ups ensure proper healing and address any concerns.

Are there any alternatives to surgical sterilization, such as non-surgical contraceptives or vasectomies for male pets?

Yes, there are alternatives to surgical sterilization, including non-surgical contraceptives and vasectomies for male pets. Non-surgical options, like hormone injections or implants, temporarily prevent fertility but require regular administration and monitoring. Vasectomies, unlike neutering, leave the testicles intact, thus preserving some natural behaviors while preventing reproduction. However, these methods do not provide the same health benefits as spaying or neutering, such as reduced cancer risks and behavioral improvements. It’s important to discuss these alternatives with a veterinarian to determine the best option based on the pet’s health and the owner’s goals.

Do you need to get your pet spayed or neutered? For all of your animal care needs, call Safford Veterinary Services in Grundy, IL for local recommendations!  

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