Every year animal shelters receive thousands of homeless pets during the month of February. This phenomenon has transpired the creation of Spay Neuter Awareness Month. At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, we love to raise awareness about pet wellness and pet safety to our neighbors throughout Colorado Springs. The stray animal epidemic is one issue that affects the face of America, in addition to our community in Colorado Springs. During Spay and Neuter Awareness Month, we’d like to highlight this pressing issue to pet owners and how we can prevent it together.
Neutering Versus Spaying
There is a difference between neutering and spaying your pet. Neutering is the removal of your pet’s testicles. This operation offers lifelong behavioral benefits by keeping your pet safe at home. Spaying, on the other hand, is the removal of your pet’s ovaries and uterus. As an outpatient surgery, you can expect to take your pet home the same day.
Why Neuter Your Dog or Cat?
Neutering or spaying your pet can drastically help the issue of overcrowding in animal shelters today, especially in cities such as Los Angeles, Portland, Detroit and Houston. These cities receive the highest number of stray animals across the nation.
Here are some facts about the stray animal epidemic affecting America according to the Humane Society:
- Across the U.S., about 6.5 million animals enter animal shelters each year
- About 1.5 million (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats) are euthanized each year
- 3.2 million pets are adopted each year from animal shelters
Volunteers and workers of animal shelters will thank you for being aware of these issues and acting to prevent it from getting worse. Keep this in mind when you get your kitten or puppy neutered or spayed – you are helping one issue that has become serious in recent history.
Five Major Reasons to Neuter Your Pet Today
In addition to reducing the number of stray animals roaming our streets, there are additional health and behavioral benefits.
Health Benefits of Neutering and Spaying
- Neutering or spaying your pet reduces the chance of uterine infections and breast cancer for cats and dogs, affecting 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. The operation drastically will improve the longevity of your pet’s life.
- For male pets, neutering eliminates the chance of testicular cancer.
Behavioral Benefits of Neutering and Spaying
- Neutering or spaying your pet reduces the likelihood of your furry friend wandering the streets, running into traffic, or picking up diseases outside. After the operation, your pet will become more family-focused and will be less inclined to go outside.
- Neutering or spaying prevents cats from going into heat, avoiding many troublesome symptoms including attention-seeking behavior, vocalizing, and restlessness. For dogs, they will be less territorial, thus they will be less inclined to spray urine around your home.
Neutering and Spaying is Cost-effective
- The cost of neutering your pet is much less than the cost of raising a litter of puppies or kittens. Cats usually have 1-8 kittens per litter and can have up to 3 liters per year. This is an average of 12 kittens a year. Dogs on the other hand usually have seven puppies per litter and also can have up to 3 litters per year. This is a maximum of 21 puppies a year. To avoid the costs of raising a litter, neutering or spaying your pet makes financial sense as well.
When to Neuter Your Dog or Cat?
For Dogs: It is best to have your puppy neutered between 6-9 months, but the surgery can be performed as young as 6 weeks if he / she is healthy. Adult dogs may be neutered as well, but there may be post-surgical complications for overweight dogs or dogs with health conditions.
For Cats: While kittens as young as 8 weeks can be neutered, cats are generally neutered before they reach 5 months old. Cats in heat may be spayed or neutered, but the surgery may take more time as their blood vessels become enlarged, thus it is not advisable and can cost more as well.
Neuter Your Pet, Help the Stray Epidemic Today | Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic
Seeing how 50% of liters are not planned, we feel that this issue is worth highlighting, especially during Spay and Neuter Awareness Month. Getting your little friend this cost effective surgery has many benefits including giving your pet the best chance at a long, healthy life. The simple surgery also has behavioral benefits as well such as keeping them close at home. Finally, neutering and spaying is the best way to prevent the stray epidemic affecting America today. At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, we offer neutering / spaying services designed to make you feel at ease with our experienced veterinarians who will take great care of your pet. If you haven’t neutered and spayed your pet today, contact us! We would love to hear from you and talk more about the benefits of the operation with you.