01 Jan Should I Spay / Neuter? Is it Cruel?
(By Corinna Underwood)
Many pet owners, particularly those who are adopting their first dog or cat, wonder if it is cruel to spay and neuter? Getting your pet fixed is part of being a responsible pet owner and putting pet safety first.
Not only does spaying and neutering prevent unwanted animals, but it reduces the risk of animal cruelty and abandonment. It also prevents animal euthanasia due to overpopulation.
What Dr. Jeff Says About Spaying/Neutering
Dr. Jeff Werber says that not only is spaying and neutering not cruel, but it also has several advantages. The main one is that the pet overpopulation problem in the United States is huge. So huge, that around 670,000 shelter dogs and 860,000 shelter cats are euthanized in the United States each year.
Dr. Jeff believes that we have a moral obligation to save animals’ lives and spaying and neutering will help to curb the loss. Other advantages of getting your pet fixed include:
Better health for male pets: Neutering your male dog or cat can help reduce their risk of prostate problems and prevent testicular cancer.
Behavioral benefits: Because your female companion won’t go into heat, she won’t be yowling and urinating more frequently. You will also not have to keep her indoors if she is an outdoor cat.
Your male companion will probably be less likely to stray too far from home in search of a mate. He may also behave slightly better. Your male cat will not be prone to mark his territory by spraying throughout the house. Your male dog may be less likely to mount the furniture or your guest’s legs if neutered early enough.
FAQs About Spaying and Neutering
Will spaying or neutering cause my pet to become overweight?
Pets gain extra pounds because they are not getting enough exercise relative to the amount of food they eat. Having your pet spayed or neutered will help them stay healthy as long as you don’t overfeed them, and they get plenty of exercise.
Will spaying or neutering fix my pet’s bad habits?
Although it can reduce some undesirable behaviors that are related to high testosterone levels, spaying and neutering is not a quick fix for bad habits. There is no guarantee that your pet’s behavior will change after surgery.
Can fixing my one animal make that much of a difference?
You may manage to find a good home for each member of your pet’s litter. But that takes up a home that might have been a great place for an animal adopted from a shelter. And you can never be sure if the animals you pass on will be spayed or neutered. They may end up having their own litter down the road, which will add to animal overpopulation.
Shouldn’t my female have at least one litter before being spayed?
There is absolutely no medical evidence to support this.
In fact, spaying your pet as early as possible makes it easier for them. Younger animals have less body fat. This means the surgery will cause less bleeding and less trauma. Smaller pets also need less anesthesia, so they will wake faster.
When Can I Spay or Neuter my Pet?
Whether your pet is a dog or a cat, male or female, you can usually get them fixed as early as eight weeks of age. If you have an older pet who has not been spayed or neutered, it is still an option provided they are in good health. If you want to find out more about fixing an older pet, talk to your vet about the procedure.
Spaying or neutering your pet can help them live longer and healthier lives, so don’t be afraid that making this choice is cruel for your pet or does them harm. Don’t forget that spaying and neutering are far less expensive than having to pay for a fresh litter of pets.
You are also helping to reduce the growing population of unwanted animals.