One of the most important decisions that you will have to make for your pet is whether or not to get them spayed or neutered. There are many benefits of getting your pet spayed, which is for females, or neutered, which is for males. Over the life of your pet, the decision to get it done can help them to live a longer, healthier life. If you aren’t sure whether to spay and neuter pets – or if you need more information about spaying and neutering – the best place to start is with a visit to your local veterinarian at the Dartmouth vet hospital.
So Many Homeless Pets
There is a massive epidemic across North America right now with homeless pets. In the United States alone, veterinary experts and rescue groups estimate that there are somewhere between six and eight million homeless animals that enter shelters each year. Unfortunately, not even half of those animals ever get adopted, leaving the rest to be euthanized by local and county shelters. Cats, dogs, and other domesticated animals who ended up on the streets, through no fault of their own, pay the ultimate price for the poor decisions of man.
Some areas have higher euthanization rates than others. States that have shelters that are ridiculously overcrowded beyond capacity can euthanize as much as 300,000 a year on their own. While some people might think that these dogs and cats are simply “street” animals from big cities, in reality, they are the often the offspring of family pets or from breeders. In fact, many of these animals are considered to be purebred animals. The decision to spay and neuter pets is the only way to reduce the number of pets who get euthanized each year.
Veterinary studies show that pets who get spayed or neutered will often live longer than pets who do not. There are a couple of reasons for this. For example, male dogs who get neutered can live as much as 18 percent longer than male dogs who are not neutered, due in part to a reduced urge to roam. Speak with your vet at the animal hospital in Dartmouth about neutering your male dog or cat.
Males are driven to find females, which puts them at risk for getting hit by cars, getting into fights with other animals, or getting in another type of deadly situation or accident. Spayed female dogs are found to live as much as 23 percent longer than female dogs who are not spayed, with much of the benefit coming from a reduced risk of uterine cancer, fatal uterine infections, and reproduction system cancers. All of these benefits are why veterinary care in Massachusetts and across the country now recommends sterilization at as early as eight weeks of age for many pets.
Female pets who are spayed before their first heat will be healthier and live longer than female pets who do not get spayed. Male pets who are neutered at an early age reduce risks for developing testicular cancer, and many veterinarians now believe that this reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer, too. Speak with your veterinarian at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth about spaying your female dog or cat.
Other advantages of deciding to spay and neuter pets is a potential change in behavior. Males who are not neutered are more inclined to mark things with urine and can also be more assertive. Some females can even exhibit this assertive behavior, which can be reduced by spaying. Cats, in particular, have a need to spray and mark territory. Studies have shown that spaying and neutering before four months of age can reduce marking issues by as much as 90 percent. Aggression and excessive barking or other dominating behaviors are also known to be reduced when you spay and neuter pets.
Veterinary care in Massachusetts and other states for pets who have been spayed or neutered are often much less than for pets who have not. While the initial cost to spay and neuter pets might be prohibitive to some, it is an investment that can reduce lifetime care considerably. Just think about how much it would cost to care for your pet at the Dartmouth vet hospital if they were being treated for fighting injuries, injuries caused by getting hit by a car, or treatment for reproductive cancer. Pet licensing is often cheaper for pets that have been spayed or neutered. If you aren’t sure about your local area, ask your veterinarian at the animal hospital in Dartmouth.
Contact Anchor Animal Hospital for Veterinary Care in Massachusetts
If you are in the South Coast region, which includes Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, consider bringing your pet into our Dartmouth vet hospital. We offer a broad range of veterinary services, including veterinary check-ups, dental exams and treatments, vaccinations, emergency services, and the option to spay and neuter pets. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment at our local animal hospital in Dartmouth or to learn more about the services we provide.