We hear a lot about the importance of spaying and neutering as part of basic vet care for cats and dogs, but unfortunately there is also a lot of misinformation floating around that prevents pets from getting this type of preventive care from their local Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian. This is definitely one of those situations where the more you know, the better you will be able to provide care for your pets. Studies show that approximately 50 percent of all cats and dogs that are currently in US shelters will be euthanized due to over-population. For that reason alone, spaying and neutering is an important part of responsible pet ownership.
Education & Experience
Two reasons why some pet owners choose not to bring their cats and dogs to the local Dartmouth emergency vet to spay or neuter their pets as soon as they are old enough to do so, include education and experience. Education, with regard to wanting their children to witness the miracle of birth as their cat or dog has puppies. Experience, with regard to the female pet having the experience of having one litter before being spayed. Some think that having a litter is healthier for the female cat or dog, but the truth is that spaying a female before her first “heat” is actually healthier. Speak with a professional about vet care for cats and dogs, including spaying and neutering when appropriate.
Another reason why some pet owners don’t include spaying and neutering as part of vet care for cats and dogs is that their pet is a purebred. Unfortunately, the truth is that 25 percent of pets in animal shelters today are purebreds. There are just too many cats and dogs waiting for homes in shelters today to think about bringing more animals – purebred, mixed or whatever – into this world just for the sake of making more of their kind. Purebred or not, it is important to remember that approximately half of all cats and dogs that are in American shelters will be euthanized due to over-population.
Common myths about pets and their natural animal instincts include feeling that a dog will be more protective to the family and the home if they are not spayed or neutered. The truth is that training, environment and genetics are much more important in a dog’s natural instinct to protect than sex hormones. Having your pet spayed or neutered won’t make them feel like “less of a man” or “less of a female” after the surgery. Pets do not have any type of emotional reaction or gender crisis if they become neutered. They do not get depressed, begin to over-eat or become lazy. In fact, some dogs can benefit greatly from neutering, especially dogs or breeds that are known for aggression. Among other treatments, neutering can help with anxiety issues in dogs and sometimes even in cats.
There are two monetary reasons why some people won’t bring their pets to the local Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian to get spayed and neutered. One is that they want to breed more purebreds or cross-breeds of their pet so they can sell them for financial gain. This is extremely irresponsible and dangerous, especially if you don’t know what you are doing. The other is that they are afraid of how much it will cost to get spaying and neutering done. Contact your Dartmouth emergency vet and ask about costs associated with this important surgery. They can often help you with more affordable ways to get this important vet care for cats and dogs to ensure the health of your pet and prevent an increase in unwanted pets in the area.
Benefits of Spaying & Neutering
In addition to all of the advantages listed above with regard to reducing pet populations in animal shelters and overcoming myths, misconceptions and just all around bad information, there are still other benefits associated with spaying and neutering as part of essential vet care for cats and dogs.
- spayed females reduce chances of developing breast cancer, which has a 50 percent fatality in dogs and a 90 percent fatality in cats
- neutered males reduce chances of developing testicular cancer
- behavioral issues, including anxiety issues in dogs, can be reduced through spaying and neutering
- neutered male cats are less prone to spraying and marking territory
- neutered male dogs are less prone to aggression and developing other common anxiety issues in dogs
Contact your local Dartmouth emergency vet to schedule an appointment for a start-up veterinary check-up for your cat or dog. You can discuss spaying and neutering, vaccinations, preventive measures and even find solutions for anxiety issues in dogs and cats. Your local Southeastern Massachusetts veterinarian has a wide range of services available to provide comprehensive vet care for cats and dogs, as well as other types of popular pets. Give us a call at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth by calling 508-996-3731.