It’s that time of year where Spring feels so close that we can almost touch it! Spring comes with the birds and the bees and frisky feelings for fertile dogs and cats.
Did you know that one non-spayed female dog and her offspring can produce up to 67,000 puppies in just six years? That means that millions of dogs across the country will be euthanized, become victims of the elements, or be hit by cars because they cannot find loving homes.
February is the month to make sure that our pets are spayed and neutered. It’s Spay/Neuter Awareness Month as well as Prevent a Litter Month. And we just celebrated World Spay Day this week as well. With all of this attention focused on such an important topic, hopefully, we can all work together to save lives today!
When Is the Best Time to Spay/Neuter?
If we’re wondering when we should spay or neuter our pets, remember that 4-6 months of age is ideal! However, please don’t be concerned if your pet is past that point. Dogs and cats can be spayed or neutered later in life as well. Recovery is just a little easier on the younger animals.
Reduction in Aggression and Bad Behavior
Spaying and neutering may change our pets’ behavior for the best. After being neutered, male dogs usually show a significant reduction in aggression. They will feel less territorial, want to confront or fight other dogs less frequently, and will be less likely to bite.
Male dogs and cats will also be less likely to break out of the yard and roam around looking for ladies after being neutered!
Male dogs and cats are way less likely to mark territory and spray as well. This is a good enough reason by itself to neuter our pets, in my opinion. Males are all sorts of trouble, aren’t they?
Finally, male and female pets tend to be calmer after being spayed or neutered. (And no diapers or bleeding on our furniture are involved when our females are fixed!)
Good Health is the Goal
Our pets are less likely to become victims of prostate disease, testicular cancer, and breast cancer when they are spayed and neutered.
Also, those male dogs who break out and roam the neighborhood looking for love are less likely to do so, which means they are less likely to be hit by a car or get into a fight.
Adopt Don’t Shop
Puppy mills contribute to pet overpopulation and unhealthy dogs. If you are looking to bring a dog or cat into your life, please consider going through a shelter or rescue group to find a best friend who will be a perfect match (and easier on your pocketbook!). Rescued animals are sweet, loving, healthy, perfect companions at any age. They really need our help. Refusing to support puppy mills and backyard breeders will help reduce the number of abandoned animals who suffer needlessly.
BONUS: If you adopt a dog or cat from a shelter, the spay/neuter fee is usually included, along with the cost of shots.
Who Should Spay My Pet?
If you adopt your pet from a shelter, most likely they will already be spayed or neutered-YES!! If they are a little too young, then the shelter will usually ask you to bring your pet back to be spayed.
If this is not your situation, then simply contact your veterinarian, and they will be able to help. Many local humane societies and veterinarians also offer discounted spay and neuter programs for people who qualify, so do your research!