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The Importance of Spaying or Neutering Your Pet

Being a pet owner means being responsible for everything regarding your pet’s overall health, well-being and happiness. Pets quite literally depend upon their owners for their every need, and the simple fact is that the decisions that pet owners make in regards to their pet’s health and welfare can also affect their own health and happiness. Pet owners therefore have a right and a responsibility to be well-educated in all matters concerning their pet, and to make the best decisions regarding their pet’s needs. This includes making the wise decision to spay or neuter your pet, which not only benefits your furry companion but indeed the entire pet population in general, especially homeless pets.

Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Pet

Spaying and neutering services are performed by licensed veterinarians. Animals undergoing a spay or neuter surgery are placed under general anesthesia for the short procedure, and often need several days to a week to fully recover from the surgery. Spaying is a medical procedure performed on female animals, and involves removing their uterus and ovaries. Neutering is a medical procedure performed on male animals, and involves removing their testicles. Obviously, spayed and neutered pets are unable to create babies, which is the main point for these procedures.

It is estimated that approximately seven million dogs and cats work their way into various rescue centers and shelters across the United States each and every year, and unfortunately only about four million of these animals are actually adopted. This means that a great portion of the stray pets in our country are routinely euthanized.

In addition to preventing unwanted pregnancies, spaying and neutering can help give pets longer and healthier lives. Female dogs and cats who are spayed while young and before ever going into heat have a greatly reduced risk of contracting mammary, ovarian or uterine cancers as well as other ovarian-related health difficulties. Spayed females will not go into heat and participate in the various behaviors that are intended to attract males – including yowling and urinating more frequently. Male dogs and cats who are neutered young may display far fewer undesirable behaviors than unneutered males, including less aggressiveness toward other animals, especially later in life, less scent marking inside the home and less running away or wandering behaviors. Neutering can also reduce the risk of unwanted testicular cancer and other prostate issues and diseases.

It is far less expensive to spay or neuter your pet than it is to care for a litter of puppies or kittens. One must also consider that stray, homeless animals can create problems for entire communities by causing vehicle accidents, frightening children and other residents, preying on wildlife and damaging local fauna.

Help With Spaying and Neutering

Many local shelters and rescue centers participate in programs that offer low-cost spaying and neutering services, and will even provide financial assistance for spaying and neutering in some cases. Some private veterinarians may offer affordable wellness care plans that include spay and neuter services.

Many rescue centers and animal shelters will not adopt out dogs or cats without having performed a spay or neuter surgery on the animal. These animals are also routinely microchipped and fully vaccinated. These organizations understand the importance of having pets in our lives, but they also understand the importance of maintaining our pet’s good health and controlling the number of unwanted canine and feline births that occur every year. Regardless of whether you adopt your pet from a local shelter or some other source, it is important to recognize the great benefit of spaying or neutering your pet as soon as possible.

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