Pet Owners Guide to Spay and Neuter


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What does it mean to ‘spay’ or ‘neuter’ your pet?

Whey you have your pet spayed or neutered, it means that you are having your animal undergo a minor surgical procedure to have their reproductive organs removed. Females are spayed and males are neutered. Depending on the health of your pet and its age, it may take a few hours or a few days at the vet for your pet to be ready to return home after the procedure. Most likely, he or she will be a little groggy for the first few hours afterward, and stitches may or may not need removal a few days later.

How is the spay or neuter process beneficial to your pets?

Your pet will enjoy a much higher quality of life once it has been spayed or neutered. Temperament issues as well as many health problems including future incidence of ovarian, breast, testicular, prostate, or uterine cancer are diminished or disappear completely. Interaction with other pets becomes much easier and in general, you will find that your pet is less anxious and high strung in most cases.

Why is a spayed or neutered pet beneficial to you?

Not only will pets get along better with other animals once spayed or neutered, they will also get along much better with you. Spayed and neutered animals are in general more good natured and affectionate. For example, cats are less likely to spray and dogs are less hostile toward other dogs who they may otherwise view as reproductive competition. In general, they are less likely to bite humans or other animals.

There is no heat cycle for spayed and neutered animals. This means no crying kitties two or three times a year or unwanted attention from male cats in the neighborhood.

Spaying and neutering also keeps your pet closer to home. They are less likely to take off the first time a door is left open and unattended or wander aimlessly around the neighborhood.

Why is spaying and neutering important to the animal community?

A great many tax dollars are spent every year in every city and county to curb unwanted cats and dogs. By cutting off the reproductive cycle of your pet, you are keeping unwanted animals out of the world, saving time and money and creating a better quality of life for the animals already here who need good homes. Animal shelters are already overflowing and stray animals that are not caught tend to wreak havoc: knocking over trash cans, attacking pets and humans, and scaring away wildlife.

Every day10,000 humans born – and every day 70,000 dogs and cats born, too. Of these, about 11 million will be euthanized in an animal shelter – that means that almost 65 percent of animals turned over to the pound will have their lives ended there.

Spaying and neutering: it's not just for dogs and cats

Rabbits are third most often surrendered pet after cats and dogs. But even if you intend to keep your rabbit for life, spaying or neutering your pet will offer all the benefits that the process gives to cats and dogs: fewer instances of certain cancers and health conditions, better temperament, better pets.

Where to have your pet spayed or neutered

Your local vet – The procedure can be expensive, but they may offer a payment plan or discounted services.

Your local animal shelter – If they don't offer the service themselves, they will know who does. Call SPAY USA – At (800) 248-SPAY, SPAY USA can help you find subsidized spay and neuter services in your area.

Visit – This website has a great many resources for taking care of your pet's health.

Melissa Steele is a freelance writer for This site features Pet Essentials with Style including dog beds of all sizes and styles.


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