Pet overpopulation| what, how, why, when: advice from your vet
Somewhere around 11-20 MILLION unwanted dogs and cats are put to death each year in animal shelters through the US. Although that number may seem staggering consider the following equation: 2 cats producing eight kittens per year could actually build a "family tree" consisting of over 174,760 cats within 7 years. In order to reduce these tragic figures, we encourage you to speak with your animal health care team about neutering your pet.
Surgical neutering of female dogs and cats eliminates heat cycles, bleeding cycles in dogs, nervousness and behavior changes blamed on hormonal fluctuations, and the desire to mate. Neutering your female dogs and cats will protect them from uterine infections and other diseases as well as difficult and/or dangerous and unwanted pregnancies. Studies show that neutering or "spaying" female dog before her first heat cycle (or period) can greatly reduce her chances of developing mammary (breast) cancer later in lefe.
Male dogs and cats are prone to wander in search of a female to mate: crossing highways which can lead to terrible trauma, and fighting with other animals which can leads to disease and injury. Surgical neutering or castration of male dogs and cats eliminates reporductive behavior and reduces urine odor and the desire to spray (urine) which is commonly seen in intact male cats. Your male dog or cat will continue to ahve thier own unique personality and will only gain weight if we let them as we fail to realize that they have done most of thier growing by 10 months of age. He will also be less likely to roam and will be happier to stay at home.
Most veterinarians recommend that a female be spayed before her first "heat period", which is around six months of age. Males are neutered at the same age. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend the most appropriate time to schedule your pets "once in a lifetime surgery". Just ask and we can tell you, in our surgical care plan, the step by step process and the costs involved to perform this surgery safely.
Surgical neutering your pets has significant preventative health benefits in addition to the more immediate birth control and prevention of over population effects. Either of these alone would be reason enough to have the procedures performed, but when considered together the benefits make the decison obvious! In doubt, just pay a visit to your local overcrowded shelter filled with animals looking for their forever home or speak with rescue groups: they'll tell you...
Feel free to bark back... we don't bite....drdeb