Five Surprising Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Pets
There are major benefits of spaying or neutering your pets. Most of us know that spaying or neutering a pet can help reduce pet overpopulation and prevent an unintended pregnancy. But for some people, it’s still hard to take the plunge, and many people see altering a pet as surgery that the pet doesn’t need and wouldn’t consent to if he was able to talk. The truth is that the benefits of spaying or neutering a pet are myriad, and if your pet knew how much easier this surgery can make his life, he might happily sign himself up for a snipping!
Reduced Cancer Risk
Testicular, uterine and ovarian cancer pose serious health risks to dogs, and are difficult to treat. Even when your veterinarian is able to successfully treat the condition, your dog will likely undergo months of uncomfortable treatment and you will spend thousands of dollars. Spaying or neutering your pet completely eliminate the risk of these dangerous cancers.
Altering your pet can also help to reduce other cancers. The hormones released by the testes and the ovaries can, over time, contribute to cell damage that causes cancer in other organs. While altering your pet won’t eliminate this risk altogether, it will lower your pet’s odds of getting a devastating cancer diagnosis.
Altering your pet, particularly if you do it before she is six months old, dramatically decreases her risk of becoming aggressive. Dogs get along better with dogs of the same sex when they aren’t dealing with a rush of hormones. But perhaps even more important, a dog who’s not distracted by the drive to procreate is more likely to listen, less easily distracted and will learn more quickly. Male dogs in particular tend to be less hyper after being neutered.
Many dog owners struggle with dogs who escape and wander. This isn’t just a minor inconvenience; it can endanger your dog’s life, particularly in urban and suburban neighborhoods. Both male and female dogs are significantly less likely to roam or escape when they are altered, especially if they are spayed or neutered before the age of six months.
Improved Overall Health
Unspayed female dogs can develop a life-threatening uterine infection called pyometra. This infection is extremely common, and its likelihood increases with each cycle your female dog goes through. Even if you plan to breed your dog, spaying her when you are done breeding can completely eliminate her risk of this infection and increase her life expectancy.
Testicular infections and anal gland problems are more common in unneutered male dogs. By neutering your dog, you completely eliminate the risk of testicular infection and dramatically reduce the risk of anal gland problems.
Reduced Costs and Stress
Having puppies isn’t a fun science experiment. It’s extremely expensive. Not only will you need to provide medical care to your female dog; you’ll also have to deworm and vaccinate the puppies, as well as intervene if they have any health problems. If no one adopts or purchases the puppies, you may be stuck providing a lifetime of care to puppies you never wanted, or never intended to keep. By spaying your female dog, you completely eliminate the health risks of pregnancy and can dramatically reduce the cost of pet ownership.
Unaltered dogs are undeniably messier. Your female dog will need a diaper to stop her from bleeding everywhere during her heat cycle, and you may need to contain her to keep her safe from roaming male dogs. Unneutered males are much more likely to urinate on elevated objects in the house. By altering your dog, you prevent these minor inconveniences and can save your carpet — and wallet — in the process.
About the Author:
Jane is an animal lover, and doesn’t turn away any animal that needs help. She has owned and fostered many pets who needed a loving home. She frequently writes informative articles on pet care and products such as Frontline dog flea treatment on her blog www.pamperthepets.com.