Vets suggest twice-yearly checkups for older pets, but what about the babies? For dogs, the standard age to be able to spay or neuter is 6-9 months, with that being said, puppies as young as 8 weeks old can be spayed or neutered if they are healthy. As for cats, the rule of thumb is typically anytime after 8 weeks. Always check with your vet to determine the best time to get your fur baby “fixed.” So often kittens and puppies go without being spayed or neutered due to the spay and neuter cost. However, there are some real health benefits that far outway any of the financial concerns you might have about the spay and neuter cost. With that being said, a lot of states and counties have created low-cost spay/neuter programs that make surgery easily affordable and accessible!
Benefit 1: Longer Lives
We all know that your pet is more than just a pet. So, of course, we want to keep them around as long as possible! Spaying/ neutering helps to prevent uterine infections and drastically decreases the amount of yes, breast cancer, in females. These conditions are fatal in 50% of dogs and nearly 90% of cats according to The ASPCA. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the boys! Neutering your male pets can help give them longer lives. Neutering also decreases the risk of testicular cancer, as well as preventing unwanted litters. Doesn’t one more year, or more, with your beloved fur baby drastically outweigh the spay and neuter cost?
Benefit 2: Behavior
Sure puppies and kittens are adorable, but they sure can be tough to train. Believe it or not, but spaying/ neutering can actually help with that. Neutered cats and dogs tend to focus all of their attention and energy on their human families. On the other hand, though, unneutered dogs and cats tend to mark their territory. This can be seen when young male cats “spray” their scent and puppies pee everywhere. Most aggression problems can also be avoided by early neutering. Also, for the girls, they don’t go into heat if they have been spayed. For the owner, this means no yowling, excessive urinating, or the rest of what comes when your pet is in heat. Your local vet can also help diagnose and treat any other behavior problems that can arise both pre and post-op.
Benefit 3: Good for the Community
Of course, you want to keep your fur baby healthy for them and for you, but it’s good for everyone else too. Stray animals pose a particular problem in many parts of the country. They prey on wildlife, can create traffic issues, damage local ecosystems not to mention being a danger to your house pets and children. However, spaying and neutering produce a very real and measurable decrease in the number of animals on the streets. Also, every year there are millions of cats and dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds that are euthanized or suffer because they are strays. The majority of these numbers are a direct result of unplanned litters that could have been avoided by spaying or neutering. Your local veterinarian at your animal hospital will be able to walk you through every step of the process, and the best part is that for vets, spaying/neutering is routine. Your fur baby will be in good hands. Don’t the health, behavioral, and community benefits of getting your pet fixed drastically outweigh the spay and neuter cost?