Monday, November 21, 2011

Should You Get Your Pet Fixed?

In the United States alone there are millions of cats and dogs, some living with families, some living as strays. One of the reasons that there are so many cats and dogs roaming about as strays is that female dogs can give birth to a litter every six months or so and female cats can give birth to a litter nearly every 15 weeks. Now, it is not necessarily healthy for the animal to have litters so often, but from maturity to death, cats and dogs can be breeding machines. The most effective way to curb frequent births is by simply neutering or spaying your pet.

There may be some people who think that spaying or neutering may be cruel since something is being taken away from the animal, but the truth is that spaying or neutering animals is one of the kindest things we can do since there are more cats and dogs out there than loving homes for them. Spaying and neutering pets is a way to ensure that the dog and cat population doesn’t continue to be more than people can handle. Over 3 million animals are put to sleep each year because a home can’t be found for them; neutering and spaying animals can help to lower this number.  The more cats and dogs have litters, the more stray animals there will be wandering the streets unwanted and eventually dying from exposure, abuse or accidents.

Aside from acting as a form of birth control, spaying and neutering can provide your pet with many health benefits. Female cats and dogs that are not spayed are more likely to develop a form of animal breast cancer. Spaying female cats or dog before they go into heat can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 99%. Also, spaying female cats or dogs will eliminate the risk of urine infections and uterine cancer all together. In addition to health benefits, animal behavior is usually improved once they are spayed. Female cats that are spayed will lose the urge to pace and “cry” when they are in heat and female dogs will not have any sort of mess associated with being in heat.

Neutering male animals can be just as beneficial as spaying female animals. When a male cat or dog goes into heat they tend to behave aggressively. Male cats and dogs also display sexually driven actions such as humping, spraying, and the urge to roam. They are marking their territory so that all the female cats or dogs will know that they are ready and available...it just so happens that their territory is often your couch. Neutering male animals will end these behaviors and actions. Neutered cats and dogs will be calmer, friendlier, happier, and less aggressive. Additionally neutered cats and dogs are not prone to health problems like testicular cancer and enlarged prostate glands.

Spaying or neutering your cat or dog is a one-time charge that can save you stress, further vet bills, and the need to find a home for kittens and puppies. When you spay or neuter your pet you don’t have to worry about keeping them contained when they are in heat and you don’t have to worry as much about the development of tumors as they age. This surgical procedure may deprive your pet the opportunity to be a parent but allowing them to have one litter may expose them to health risks and you will be burdened with finding homes for the litter in a world that is already over populated with cats and dogs. Your pets will never know the difference and in the long run they will be spared the anxiety, mess and hassle that is often associated with being in heat. Spaying or neutering your pet is simply a responsible action that will bless your pet with better health and will bless the world with less cats or dogs.

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About the Author: Lisa Brennan is the owner of an in-home pet care service in Boston. Her pet sitting services are uniquely designed to your pet’s lifestyle, to make the process as stress-free as possible. In addition to pet sitting, she also offers dog walking services in Boston to keep your pets healthy and in-shape.