Importance of Spay & Neuter
February is not only Responsible Pet Owners Month & Dental Health Month, it’s also Spay and Neuter Awareness Month! While spaying or neutering pets is fairly common now, there are still owners who choose not to. Some reach the indecision really by indecision, some choose it so they can breed their pet, and some choose it out of ignorance, thinking it may be the best/most cost effective option. Whatever your thoughts, we’d like to share with you our top three reasons for Spaying or Neutering your pet!
1. Heath & Behavior
There are health benefits to spaying or neutering for both male and female animals. For female pets, “Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors.” Male pets will have significantly lower risks of cancer and and of prostate issues.
Once your female is spayed, she will no longer go in heat. A female in heat often has increased urination which can sometimes lead to urinary tract issues including urinary tract infections. *Females who are spayed can and sometimes do still experience UTIs, but the risk is lower for spayed females.
In addition to decreased risk of UTIs, the behavior usually associated with being in heat will be much decreased for your female furry friend.
Male pets’ behavior is even more affected by a neuter than a female’s. The male’s level of testosterone is markedly decreased. An intact male will do almost anything to find a mate & this can often mean escaping their home. The lower levels of testosterone have also been found to reduce unwanted behaviors in many cases. Mounting and marking territory nearly always decrease significantly and early neutering has been known to help decrease aggression.
It can be easy to make the assumption that not spaying or neutering would be more cost effective than to do so since you’re not paying for a surgery. However, not spaying or neutering is likely to cause many future medical expenses that would outweigh a simple spay or neuter.
Low cost spay and neuter clinics can be found all over the country. Louisville’s low cost clinic is called S.N.I.P. and offers spay procedures for cats at $60, neuter procedures for males at $50, female dogs at $85, and male dogs at $70. Louisville’s S.NI.P. clinic also offers free spay and neuters to pit-bull owners due to overpopulation in the area. At Jefferson Animal Hospital, our spay and neuters are more expensive because of the additional bloodwork and other services we provide to minimize as much risk as we can, however we understand when clients utilize services at a low cost spay and neuter clinic and we’d ultimately have the pet spayed or neutered anywhere than not at all!
Caring for a pregnant dog or cat and then their litter is a costly endeavor! Even one healthy pregnancy would easily cost more than neutering your pet.
Thirdly, spaying or neutering just simplifies things.
Dealing with a female in heat is a literal mess, not to mention having to keep her away from intact males during that time. That means no dog parks or socializing in larger settings. A close eye must be kept on intact males during any socializing. It’s often hard to keep them from mounting other dogs, both female and male and this could easily lead to a pregnancy.
As we discussed earlier, most neutered males are also less aggressive than their intact counterparts. This will likely mean that they will be calmer in social settings, which will allow you to be less worried when taking your dog to dog parks or other social outings.
In addition to decreased aggression your dog or can will also be less territorial and leave you with less messes to clean up! No one likes cleaning up their pet’s urine and an intact male (cat or dog) will feel the need to make is ownership of the area known, including inside areas.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, we hope that you make the decision to spay or neuter your pet. If you have any further questions or are interested in scheduling a spay or neuter with us, call 502-966-4104 for our 24 hour, Outer Loop location or 502-699-6535 for location in Fern Creek!