What You Should Know About Spaying and Neutering


Spaying and Neutering Facts

Spaying and Neutering

According to the Humane Society of the United States, approximately 6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter one of the approximately 6,000 U.S. animal shelters each year. Of these animals, an estimated 3 to 4 million are euthanized. An estimated 25 percent of these animals are purebred. A veterinary assistant can inform you of the benefits of spaying and neutering pets.

Many of the animals euthanized in animal shelters are perfectly healthy and young. These animals are usually the offspring of a beloved family pet who had an unintentional litter, and, as is common in most cases, the owner wasn’t able to find homes for each puppy or kitten. Unfortunately, there are more homeless animals than there are people willing to provide them with loving homes.

A fertile dog may produce two litters of puppies per year with an average of six to 10 puppies per litter. Cats can produce up to six kittens per litter and have up to three litters per year. Spaying and neutering is the only 100 percent effective way of controlling the ability of dogs and cats to reproduce. Spaying or neutering your pet will help you avoid adding to the pet overpopulation problem.

Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

Spaying or neutering your female pet can:

• Minimize mess since cats won’t go into heat.
• Eliminate the risk of diseases like pyometra (pus-filled uterus), uterine cancer and ovarian cancer.
• Drastically reduce the risk of mammary gland tumors (cancer of the mammary gland).
• Eliminate risks associated with pregnancy like false pregnancy, retained placenta, prolapsed uterus, dystocia (difficulty giving birth), and eclampsia (all of which are extremely expensive to treat and may result in the death of the mother).

RELATED: Vaccine-Associated Fibrosarcoma in Cats

Spaying or neutering your male pet can:

• Reduce stress and anxiety in dogs and cats.
• Decrease the risk of a male pet running away or roaming when they sense a female in heat.
• Eliminate the risk of testicular cancer.
• Drastically reduce the risk of an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. (Over 80 percent of unneutered male dogs develop some form of prostate disease.)

“There are many misconceptions about spaying and neutering,” says Ashlie Herring, a veterinary technician. “For instance, some people think pets who have been spayed or neutered become fat or lazy. It is up to the owner to make sure her dog or cat gets fed a healthy diet and has regular exercise.”

Surgical sterilization won’t affect the physiological development of a dog or cat. There is no scientific data that supports the theory that spaying or neutering affects a pet’s physiological or psychological development. Again, it is up to the owner to provide her pet with adequate nutrition and the loving care that is necessary to help her pet grow into a happy and healthy adult.

READ MORE: Poisonous Plants for Dogs and Cats


  1. Barbara & Scott says

    Many soldiers returned from Viet Nam physically and emotionally drained. Most of them suffered long term stress. This is now known as post-traumatic stress disorder. There was no treatment or compensation for these soldiers. Scott came home in 1968 after 3 long years of army life. Viet Nam left its’ mark on him and his ability to connect with people. His family adopted a German Shepherd named Mr. Murphy. Scott and Murphy bonded instantly and grew to train each other in ways unshared by people. Scott taught Murphy search & rescue techniques with his sister Cindylou. Scott learned the loyalty and love that only a dog can provide. Since then Scott has rescued many dogs and trained them.

    Scott now works as a hospice nurse. He attends home visits with families experiencing many challenges. He is often accompanied by Bruno, a therapy dog.
    In 2013 Scott began rescuing dogs in San Antonio. There are hundreds of dogs picked up in San Antonio monthly, with most of them euthanized. Scott has chosen to provide a safe haven for dogs in transition. People call to ask him to rescue dogs; most of which wind up coming to our ranch, awaiting adoption. Keeping the property secure for their safety is a chore. Scott is caring for the dogs most of the time by himself.

    Feeding, training, rehabilitating and often nursing dogs back to health is not easy.
    He is in need of assistance with the care and training of these dogs. It would be wonderful to have a of a student in a vet-tech, dog-grooming or dog training program in need of externship hours to learn the skills needed for their profession at our ranch. As nurses, we are committed to education. We have mentored many students in various fields and would welcome these students.

    If there are students that would be able to spend time helping us with the dogs at the ranch, call us. We will also accept donations of dog food and supplies. Please, contact us with any assistance: Scott 210-907-8858 or 201-321-7356.

  2. says

    Modern veterinary science suggests that we wait until dogs are a year or more of age before spaying or neutering. the growing dog needs the hormones for proper bone growth. There are fewer problems later if we wait, fewer cruciate ligament tears and better growth in general. Dogs spayed or neutered young are often tall and leggy. Do your research before making a decision to spay or neuter young.

  3. says

    Thanks for sharing all of these benefits of spaying or neutering your pet. I knew that neutering your pet could reduce stress, but I didn’t know that it reduces the risk of prostate cancer. That is a huge health bonus, especially since cancer is one of the leading causes of animal deaths. In fact, I’m going to start looking for a vet right now who can neuter my puppy in a few months. He is only three months old, so he needs to wait for a little bit.

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