Spaying and Neutering: Myth vs. Fact
Spaying or neutering your pet will increase health and longevity
Spring is finally here—when the sun comes out and the weather warms up. During this season, animals give birth more frequently and many families consider adding a new puppy or kitten to their household. If you are one of those families, please be sure that spaying or neutering your pet is also on your To-Do List for spring.
Unfortunately, too many pet owners don’t make spaying and neutering a priority or, even worse, they have mistaken ideas about what the procedures entail or what the effects will be.
Top 5 Spaying and Neutering Myths
The most important fact to remember about spaying and neutering is that it saves lives. Each year, 6.5 million companion animals are taken to animal shelters in the U.S., and 1.5 million of those shelter animals are euthanized, that’s almost 3 pets per minute. Pet owners who buy into harmful myths about spaying and neutering unintentionally contribute to the unwanted pet epidemic.
Myth: Spaying and Neutering are Expensive.
The truth is that spaying and neutering are affordable procedures for most pet owners. When purchasing a new furry friend, this cost should be budgeted in. If you are concerned about the cost, we work with an organization called Friends of Animals, that offers low cost spay and neuter rebates (find out more at friendsofanimals.org). Our Wellness Packages for Puppies and Kittens include a spay or neuter surgery along with other services that will get your new addition off to a healthy start in life—and bundling these services saves you a bundle.
Myth: Spaying and Neutering Will Make My Pet Fat and Lazy.
There is no direct correlation between spaying or neutering and a pet’s weight or activity level. As with all animals, when our dogs and cats mature, they tend to become less active and to gain weight. If you are worried about your pet’s weight, feed your pet less, switch to a weight loss pet food, and make sure to give enough exercise. In general, your dog or cat’s health will improve dramatically as a result of spaying or neutering.
Myth: Spaying and Neutering Will Change My Pet’s Personality.
Animal behavior is far more affected by training, genetics, and environment than by the presence or absence of sex hormones. If anything, spaying or neutering will cause positive changes, making your pet more pleasant, friendlier, and easier to be around. Male cats tend to reduce territorial spraying, depending on their age at the time of the surgery. Neutered dogs and cats fight less, which reduces the spread of contagious diseases. Male dogs and cats tend to stay home more after neutering because they no longer wander in search of a mate, leading to less hit-by-car incidents, and just less pet loss overall. Female cats will no longer vocalize due to a heat cycle, and female dogs will no longer be anxious, restless, or exhibit nesting behaviors while in heat.
Myth: Female Dogs and Cats Should Have One Litter Before Being Spayed.
Veterinarians have no idea where this myth came from, but it’s been circulating for a while. The idea is that female dogs and cats are healthier if they give birth to one litter, but there is no medical evidence to back this myth up. In fact, medical evidence shows that female animals who are spayed before they go into heat for the first time are generally healthier—and better protected from uterine infections and uterine cancer as well as malignant breast tumors. Many shelters and veterinary practices will now sterilize dogs and cats beginning at 8 weeks of age.
Myth: Spaying and Neutering are Extremely Painful Procedures.
As with all surgeries at Ambassador Animal Hospital, we perform spay/neuter surgery under low-level, general anesthesia administered by a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine. This means that the procedure will not be felt by the patient. Recovery time typically takes 24 to 72 hours before the animal is back to normal activity and involves minimal discomfort.
The qualified and compassionate team at Ambassador Animal Hospital urges you to get your new pet spayed or neutered. Doing so will not only make your four-legged family member healthier and happier, it will also prevent homeless companion animals from living in shelters and being euthanized. To schedule a spaying or neutering procedure or one of our Wellness Packages for your new puppy or kitten, call us at (864) 271-1112.