In addition to curbing pet overpopulation, spay/neuter surgeries have beneficial health and behavioral pluses. However, there are still many myths and much misinformation out there about spay/neuter.
In our latest blog, Florida Animal Friend is here to help clarify what are some common myths, misinformation, and facts regarding spay/neuter!
Myth: Spaying or neutering causes dogs and cats to gain weight.
Fact: Obesity in cats and dogs is due to lack of exercise and overfeeding – not spaying and neutering. As with people, a nutritious diet and regular exercise will help keep the pounds off our pets.
Myth: Spaying and neutering is unhealthy for pets.
Fact: Neutering your male dog or cat prevents testicular tumors and may prevent prostate problems. Neutering also decreases the possibility of perianal tumors and hernias, which are commonly observed in older, unaltered dogs. Spaying a female dog or cat prevents malignant breast tumors, uterine cancer and uterine infections that can be deadly if untreated.
Myth: A female dog or cat should go through one heat cycle before a spay surgery.
Fact: Spaying a pet before her first estrous cycle greatly reduces her chances of developing breast cancer and completely eliminates the threat of uterine and ovarian cancer and uterine infection, which are common occurrences in unaltered females.
Cats can reproduce as young as 4 months old. Many veterinarians now sterilize cats and dogs as young as 8 weeks of age. Female cats can go into heat as often as four to five days every three weeks. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll vocalize and urinate inappropriately.
Myth: Spaying and neutering will cause undesirable behavioral changes.
Fact: In male cats and dogs, neutering can help avoid some aggression problems or undesirable behaviors caused by a higher level of testosterone. Neutering male pets decreases urine marking, mounting behaviors, and roaming, and neutering male cats greatly reduces or eliminates urine spraying, roaming, and fighting with other males. Also, spayed female pets won’t go into heat.
Working dogs and service dogs are routinely sterilized, keeping them focused on their job and, in the case of service dogs, attentive of their owner’s needs.
Myth: A male dog or cat will feel like less of a male if they are neutered.
Fact: Many people believe their cat or dog’s character will change when they lose their reproductive abilities. However, male pets do not have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet’s basic personality. Sterilized pets are proven to be more affectionate and less likely to bite, run away, or become aggressive.
Myth: We can sell puppies or kittens and make money.
Fact: The cost of raising a litter includes vaccinations and other veterinary care, and the cost of feeding puppies or kittens a quality food often is greater than the net profit gained from sales. There are no guarantees that you will recoup the cost associated with raising a litter.
Myth: Spay/neuter operations are expensive.
Fact: The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is far less than the cost of having and caring for a litter of puppies or kittens, or the potential cost for treating testicle, uterine nr mammary cancer.
In most communities, there are veterinarians and nonprofit spay/neuter clinics that offer affordable spay/neuter. Contact local veterinarians, humane societies and animal service agencies for low-cost spay and neuter services in your community.