You should allow your female cat to have at least one litter. You shouldn’t neuter your male dog or else he’ll get lazy and fat. People say the darn-dest things! Truth is, it is much healthier in the long run for your pet – dog or cat – to be spayed or neutered. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths surrounding these procedures so instead of sorting through all of the mumbo-jumbo, we’ll give you the facts:
Fact: A female that has been spayed before 6 months of age, or before her first heat cycle, is much less likely to develop mammary tumors later in life (50% less chance in dogs and 90% less chance in cats). There is also a nasty potentially life-threatening infection called pyometra (pus in the uterus) that older unsprayed females can get… But guess what? Spaying your pet reduced the chances to pretty much nothing (yay!).
Fact: Neutering your pet will make him a better companion for you! Why do you ask? An intact male pet’s main goal in life is to breed. It’s on his mind 24/7. If there is a female in heat even a block away, your pet may try to escape and get hurt in the process (being hit by a car is not what he had in mind). So when he isn’t fretting about the female down the street, he’s probably going to be fighting with your neighbour’s dog. Intact males are much more likely to start fights with other “competition” dogs. Un-neutered male cats, on the other hand, are much more likely to mark their territory (ie your home or surrounding areas) with urine. Cat pee has a strong odour normally but nothing compares to the smell of an intact male. Peeyew!!!
Fact: Heat cycles are messy and kind of annoying. Your female dog will typically go into a heat cycle twice a year, or every 6 months – are you excited at the thought of placing a doggy-type diaper on your pet a couple of times a year? Or did you not like that couch anyway…? Now, over to our lovely female compions: Cats have multiple heat cycles. Have you heard a female cat in heat? Hope you don’t mind getting woken up in the middle of the night to horrible guttural yowling.
Fact: Neutering your pet eliminates the risk of testicular cancer completely and greatly reduces the risks of prostate cancer. What does this mean? Your pet is more likely to live a longer, cancer-free life.
Fact: It is more cost effective to spay or neuter your pet. Surgery for the types of cancers listed above? Broken leg from being hit by a car while roaming for a female? Breeding and raising a litter of puppies or kittens? These are not only potentially life-threatening for your pet but also can be very costly to you, the owner.
Fact: There are already too many homeless and unwanted pets where we live (have you taken a walk through your local animal shelter recently?). Let’s all do our part and (in our best Bob Barker voice) help control the pet population! Have your pet spayed or neutered.
Fact: Spay and neuter surgeries are done safely every day in Surrey (where we’re located) and all throughout the Lower Mainland of BC.
Fact: You can ask your veterinarian or veterinary team member about spaying and neutering information and myths – we would be happy to answer any of your questions!