February is National Spay or Neuter Your Pets Month, and World Spay Day Is February 25th! One of the most important health decisions you will make when it comes to your pet is whether or not to spay or neuter them. Getting your pets fixed is a relatively simple and easy veterinary procedure that can have lifelong benefits for your pet’s health and happiness. Most people are familiar with the process of fixing an animal, but many do not realize the hidden health, social, and behavioral benefits that come with it as well. As it turns out, there are many reasons to spay and neuter your pet. Make sure to visit the last page to find out how you can help overcrowded shelters spay and neuter their cats and dogs!
On the fence about fixing?
Check out our list of the top 6 reasons to spay or neuter your pets!
6. Less Roaming
For both males and females, the desire to roam is high when the animal is in heat and unfixed. This poses a problem for their safety, as well as increasing their chances of getting pregnant. Getting your pet spayed or neutered will reduce their need to roam in search of a possible mate, and will also decrease the chances that your pet will become lost, attacked, or hit by a car while roaming.
5. No Heat Cycle
Pets that are not fixed will go into heat, usually twice a year. In fact, most females have their first heat cycle around 6 months of age. Females in heat often try to escape their home in search of a mate. Females that are not fixed and in heat will need to be kept inside or watched closely outside during the duration of their cycle (typically about three weeks long) in order to prevent escapes and unwanted pregnancies. Getting your female fixed and eliminating her heat cycle will reduce her anxiety, eliminate her desire to roam while in heat, and overall be a lot less of a hassle for you, as well as your pet.
4. Reduced Risk Of Diseases
The health benefits that your pet experiences are numerous when it comes to getting fixed. Over 25% of female dogs who aren’t fixed will develop breast or mammary tumors. Fixing your pet reduces their risk tremendously, depending on the time that they get spayed. The earlier they get fixed, the lower the risk of mammary tumors. In cats, 90% of mammary tumors are cancerous, so lowering that risk by spaying is incredibly important. Most vets recommend that a female animal is spayed before her first heat, in order to capitalize on these health benefits. Having your dog spayed completely eliminates the possibility of her developing ovarian or uterine cancer. For males, getting fixed lowers their odds of developing prostate problems and testicular cancer.
3. Positive Behavior Changes
Especially in males, getting fixed can prevent and sometimes even correct minor behavior issues such as aggression. Without the constant drive and the frustration that comes with resisting the natural urge to track down a mate, your pet will be less distracted, easier to train, and overall a happier member of your family. Getting your pet fixed will not change the personality of your pet, but what it can do is eliminate some of the negative behaviors that are associated with the heat cycle, such as irritability, increased urination, and aggression.
2. Save Money
In addition to the health benefits that spaying and neutering does for your pet, it also benefits you financially. Yes, it costs money to have your pet fixed, but many places offer specials and discounts during certain months, and the cost of spaying and neutering is less than the cost of an unwanted pregnancy. An unexpected animal pregnancy results in high amounts of vet bills, as well as additional food expenses. Also, many communities offer reduced licensing rates for dogs that are spayed and neutered. Getting your pets fixed isn’t just the socially responsible choice, it’s the financially responsible choice as well.
1. Help Fight Pet Overpopulation
Over 7 million animals enter shelters each year in the United States. Of those animals, almost 3 million never make it out alive. Getting your pet fixed helps prevent unplanned pregnancies, and you will be helping to reduce the number of animals that are living in shelters without homes. Do the right thing, get your pet fixed.
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