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Responsible Pet Ownership: Spay & Neuter Pets in Massachusetts

Spay Neuter Pets in New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fall River MassachusettsOne of the best things that you can do for your pet is to look after their health. Veterinary care in Massachusetts and responsible pet ownership should go hand-in-hand. When you spay and neuter pets, you not only help to reduce the homeless pet problem in New England, but you also help your pet to live a longer and healthier life. Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth can help you to make an informed decision that will provide your pet with the best veterinary care. It is important to understand the benefits of spaying and neutering pets, as well as the best time to perform this type of operation.

Female Pets

One of the most significant advantages associated with spaying a female pet is that they will live a longer and healthier life. When you have a female cat or dog spayed, the procedure helps to prevent uterine infections and can even reduce the chance of developing breast tumors. The statistics for breast tumors in pets is not good. According to the ASPCA, approximately 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats will have tumors that are either malignant or cancerous. Veterinary studies show that neutering your pet before the first “heat” offers the best protection against these types of deadly diseases.

With proper veterinary care, female pets will not go into heat, which typically occurs every three weeks during breeding season for a period of four to five days. During the heat cycle, females “advertise” for males by howling and crying throughout the house, trying to get outdoors. They will also urinate outside of their litter boxes. It is important to work with your veterinarian at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth to choose the best time for spaying your female cat or dog. Rabbits and other mammals can be spayed as well. Speak with your veterinarian if you have questions about this procedure.

Male Pets

A male cat or dog who gets neutered will have a much better chance of avoiding prostate problems and issues with testicular cancer. Male dogs will be much less likely to run away from their homes, as a male who has not been neutered will be much more likely to try to chase down a mate. Male cats and dogs have been known to find creative ways to escape from their homes and yards, at great risk to their own safety. Many intact males have died in traffic accidents and fights with other animals in an attempt to mate with a female.

Other benefits can include better behavior, reduced aggression, and less mounting of other dogs, people, and objects around your home. However, it is important to understand that neutering your male pet will not be a “quick fix” for all types of behavioral problems and issues. While neutering can prevent undesirable behaviors that are frequently caused by higher levels of testosterone, it won’t stop it altogether. It also won’t stop actions that have been learned or that have become habits. Training is the only thing that will work in those situations. Don’t see neutering as the solution for bad behavior.

When to Spay and Neuter Pets

It is also important to speak with your vet at the animal hospital in Dartmouth about the best time frame to spay and neuter pets. This is part of responsible pet ownership, and while no one wants to do it, it’s something that is in the best interest of the pet. Veterinary care in Massachusetts will typically recommend neutering for dogs between six and nine months, depending on their health. Adult dogs can be neutered as well, however, there are more risks for post-op complications, so it is best to get advice from a trusted veterinarian. At Anchor Animal Hospital, we typically recommend that dogs get spayed or neutered at six months of age.

For cats, many veterinary clinics will spay or neuter as young as eight weeks old so they can be put up for adoption. This is also to prevent the onset of urine spraying and reduce the risk of early pregnancy. For pet owners with cats that were not spayed or neutered before adoption, most vets will recommend that it be done before the cat reaches five months of age for best results. Your veterinarian will provide you with recommendations based on your pet’s age, breed, health, lifestyle, and history. At Anchor Animal Hospital, we typically recommend that cats get spayed or neutered at four to six months of age.

Contact Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of choosing to spay and neuter pets or if you would like to schedule an appointment for veterinary care in Massachusetts, please give us a call at 508-996-3731. Our team can answer any questions that you might have and can provide recommendations that will help you to ensure responsible pet ownership for the health and longevity of your beloved family pets.