Is It Important To Have Pets Neutered And Spayed?

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Introduction

Are you wondering why getting your pets neutered and spayed is important? The main reasons are that it can bring health benefits to your pet, and prevent millions of pets being put to death because of overbreeding.

There are already too many abandoned pets put to death at local authority pounds, and animal rescues are bursting at the seams. People who do not spay or neuter their pets contribute considerably to that problem, with accidental litters. So do people purposely breeding their pets for profit. People often buy pets on a whim and then abandon them when they are no longer convenient to keep.

What Really Happens To Unwanted Pets

Many people do not realise what happens to unwanted pets. They think they all end up happy in another home or at a no kill rescue. In reality, if they do get another home, they are often then passed on. They eventually end up in pounds and shelters.

For every pet that gets a space in a no kill rescue, there are numerous others that end up in local authority pounds and shelters. Once there, they have a time limit to find a rescue space, or are put to death. Others end up in shelters that do not have a “no-kill” policy. This means they are at risk of being put to sleep there.

Health and Behavioural Benefits

Another good reason to have your pets neutered and spayed is because they can experience health benefits. There are also behavioural improvements. Having their pets neutered and spayed is what responsible pet owners do.

Image: Singer Morrissey explains how constant new litters of pets kills chances of shelter pets being adopted.

Neutered And Spayed Steven Morrissey Quote
Steven Morrissey Quote

For Every Pet Bred, A Rescued Pet Loses A Chance Of Life

Every time somebody buys a new puppy, kitten, etc, they could have instead saved the life of an abandoned pet. Because there are so many newly bred pets available, they are often chosen over adopting shelter pets. This means more shelter pets are put to death, their chance of being saved having been taken away. The tragedy is that they die feeling scared, alone and unloved.

Tomorrows Shelter Pets

Many pets bred and bought today are tomorrows shelter pets. All the life saving spaces at animal rescues are constantly full. Sadly, this means a huge number of abandoned pets are put to death every year.

All the rescue spaces are full because the number of people abandoning pets, is higher than the number of people adopting. As long as people keep breeding animals, and people keep buying them, the shelters will never be empty. Countless healthy, adoptable pets will never stop being put to death.

Having Your Pets Neutered and Spayed Saves Innocent Lives

Through having your pet neutered and spayed, you can prevent adding to the innocent deaths. PLUS you can help your own pet live a happier, healthier, longer life.

It is always best to have your pets neutered and spayed as soon as is safe, without your pet having any litters. It is myth that an animal should have at least one litter. There is no benefit to that at all, only the disadvantage of adding to the pet overpopulation.

Image:  There are literally thousands of good reasons to have your pets neutered and spayed. If everyone was responsible enough to have their pets neutered and spayed, there would be many fewer innocent, adoptable pets put to death.

Number Crunching The Impact
Number Crunching The Impact

When To Have Dogs Neutered And Spayed

Vets often advise that dogs are spayed before their first season. In females, this is commonly around 6 months old. Males can be neutered around 8 months old. Both sexes can be neutered as early as 8 weeks old.

If your bitch has had a season, approximately 3 months should be allowed after her season before she is spayed.

Neutering male dogs as early as is safe, and bitches before their first season, has huge benefits. It reduces the risk of causing more innocent dogs being put to death by adding to the already huge overpopulation. It also has health benefits for both sexes by preventing cancers of the reproductive organs. Behavioural benefits are another plus point of neutering and spaying.

Image: It is not recommended for a bitch to have her first litter before being spayed. 

Neutered And Spayed Myth Vs Fact
Myth Vs Fact

When To Have Cats Neutered And Spayed

Cats can be neutered and spayed around four months. However, they are more commonly neutered and spayed around five to six months of age. Warning! They can breed before this age, so be careful!

It is definitely not recommended for cats to have a litter before being spayed.

Image: There are benefits for the pets who are spayed or neutered. Neutering and spaying also saves the many of innocent pets who would have been put to death due to pet overpopulation, had they been born. They would have died feeling lonely and unwanted, as many others have and do. Another benefit is to tax payers, whose money would not need to be used dealing with pet overpopulation.

Spay And Neuter Benefits
Spay And Neuter Benefits

When And Why To Have Rabbits Neutered And Spayed

Neutering and spaying at around 6 months is fine for rabbits. They can breed well before then, so separation of same sex rabbits is vital.

Prior to rabbits being spayed / neutered, separate them with just a secure wire fence / partition. If they can smell and touch each other through it, it allows them to form a bond while preventing mating.

Rabbits are social animals and are happier with rabbit company. The best pairing is usually a male and female, as long as they are both neutered and spayed. Neutering and spaying can reduce aggression.

Up to 80% of female rabbits that have NOT been spayed can develop cancer of the womb. Most female rabbits die from womb cancer. Spaying prevents that.

Neutered And Spayed Benefits Of Neutering Rabbits
Benefits Of Neutering Rabbits

When And Why To Have Ferrets Neutered And Spayed

It is very important to have ferrets neutered and spayed as soon as possible. In fact, it is a matter of life or death.

Spaying Ferrets
Spaying Ferrets

Ideally, female ferrets should be spayed prior to four months of age and before coming into heat for the first time. Female ferrets who are not spayed and come into heat, become ill and die without intervention.

If your female ferret is already in heat, she will need a vet to give her the “jill jab”. This is an injection which works to bring a female ferret out of heat and stop her from dying from heat-induced anaemia. Spaying prevents this from happening.

Life-threatening pregnancy associated problems are common in ferrets. This is another reason why spaying female ferrets is the safe choice. Ferrets are also difficult to re-home and are regularly put to death because of being unwanted.

Unless they are neutered, male Ferrets are prone to becoming very aggressive towards other ferrets, attacking them. They are also very likely to bite people.

Another advantage of neutering males is that they no longer smell so terrible!

Male ferrets should be neutered before four months of age if possible. If not, You can still get it done. Talk to your vet about having your male ferret neutered after this age.

Neutered And Spayed Neuter Ferrets Before 4 Months Old
Neuter Ferrets Before 4 Months Old

For more detailed information about why to have ferrets neutered and spayed, see here.

Health Benefits Of Neutering Male Dogs And Other Male Pets

Neutering your dog, or other male pets, offers several health benefits. Without neutering, an enlarged prostate is very likely, which is uncomfortable and may interfere with defecation.

The prostate is also vulnerable to infection and inflammation (prostatitis) in dogs that are not neutered.

In addition, certain types of hernias and testicular cancer can be prevented with neutering. Also, the chance of anal and perianal tumours can be greatly reduced.

Neutering cats makes them less prone to contracting infectious diseases.

Image: Neutering prevents a number of diseases, illnesses and conditions in male pets.

Fast Fact
Fast Fact

Health Benefits Of Spaying Female Dogs And Other Female Pets

Spaying a bitch before she is 2 years old significantly reduces the risk of female cancers. These include uterine, ovarian and mammary cancers. If spayed before her first season, it can totally remove the risk of these cancers.

Spaying also prevents pyometra and other uterine infections.

In addition, spaying a female obviously eliminates the mess associated with her being in season.

Much of the above information also applies to spaying other female pets.

Neutered cats are less at risk of getting infectious diseases.

Image: Some of the health benefits to spaying a female cat

Neutered And Spayed Health Benefits From Spaying Cats
Health Benefits From Spaying Cats

Health Disadvantages To Traditional Spaying & Neutering

Some studies suggest that if dogs of either sex are neutered and spayed earlier than 5 1/2 months, growth hormones can be affected.

Urinary incontinence is thought to be higher in spayed bitches than those not spayed. However, it is still a small percentage and can be treated fairly cheaply with medicine.

Some bitches only need one or two courses of the treatment. With others it will be ongoing, often with a reduced dosage.

My own rescued dog is on this medicine, although we are not sure if her urinary incontinence was linked to her being spayed. Since she now only needs a very small amount of it every few days, it costs about £30 only every six months or so.

Why Spay And Neuter ?
Why Spay And Neuter ?

All the benefits of spaying and neutering far outweigh any disadvantages.

Alternative Method To Traditional Spay And Neuter

Even though the many advantages of having pets neutered and spayed are clear, there are some opposers to the traditional method of doing it. They feel there is a better way. They advocate vasectomy for males and hysterectomy without oophorectomy for females – sterilisation without desexing.

Even so, supporters of this method emphasise that they do not advocate non-sterilisation. However you have your pet sterilised, it is far better than not doing it at all. Talk to your vet about this method of sterilisation if you are at all concerned.

Image: Powerful reasons to have your pet neutered and spayed.

Neutered And Spayed Powerful Reasons For Neutering And Spaying Pets
Powerful Reasons For Neutering And Spaying Pets

Do Neutered And Spayed Pets Put On Weight?

Many people believe that spaying and neutering cause animals to put on weight. A number of scientific studies have resulted in conflicting conclusions.

While some studies found that having pets neutered and spayed may affect the metabolism of the pet, they conceed that it may just be the natural aging process which was the cause.

Diet and exercise should always be monitored. Both should be adjusted so that your pet is receiving the correct amount of both for its metabolic rate.

Energy and activity levels do not change because of being neutered and neither does appetite. Therefore, there is no reason that dogs or other pets should put on weight because of being neutered.

Image: Pets put on weight because of energy and metabolic rate decreasing. This can be because of age, over feeding, not enough exercise and, more rarely, other underlying medical conditions. Some people say it is because of having your pet neutered and spayed.

Where Did These Rolls Come From Myths
Where Did These Rolls Come From Myths

Behavioural Benefits Of Neutered And Spayed Pets

The only behaviour changes are positive ones.

  • Dogs tend to become more obedient.
  • Interest in running off is eliminated in approximately 90% of spayed or neutered dogs of both sex.
  • Aggression towards other male dogs is eliminated in approximately 60% of neutered male dogs.
  • Urine marking is eliminated in 50% of neutered male dogs.
  • Sexual mounting / humping is eliminated in approximately 70% of spayed or neutered dogs. Dogs may still use mounting and humping to demonstrate dominance.
  • Spaying eliminates the constant crying and nervous pacing of a female cat in heat.
  • If you have more than one pet in your household, the pets will generally get along better if they are neutered.
Neutered And Spayed Behavioural Benefits Of Castration
Behavioural Benefits Of Castration

My Personal Experience

Having pets neutered and spayed is something I’d always do. I would never want to have the deaths of innocent shelter pets on my conscience by accidentally adding to overpopulation. I also want my dog to experience the health benefits associated with being spayed, such as living a longer life.

With my dog, my spay and neuter experience has been only positive. I am glad to say that the same is true with other people I have spoken to. They have had similar experiences to mine.

Before being spayed, my dog would be easily distracted and run off towards other dogs which were so far away they were just dots on the horizon. No matter how much calling I did, or how stern I made my voice sound, she would take absolutely no notice.

Post spay, the difference is amazing. She actually listens to me! If she begins to head towards another dog, as soon as I call, she responds and comes back. She is also still as friendly and loving to us as she always was.

Cassie My Spayed And Adopted Staffie
Cassie My Spayed And Adopted Staffie

Cost of Having Pets Neutered And Spayed

In certain areas, some charities offer money off neutering to low income families on benefits. You must have proof of receiving these benefits to qualify.

Even paying full price, the cost to have your pets neutered and spayed is far less than to provide proper care for a litter of newborn puppies or kittens and their mother.

Neutered And Spayed Financials
Financials

Last but not least, not having your pets neutered and spayed costs innocent lives. The lives of innocent abandoned pets that are put to death because of the pet overpopulation. Neglecting to have your pets neutered and spayed contributes to that.

Misconceptions And Myths About Spaying And Neutering

Myth: If you spay and neuter pets they put on weight.
The main reason dogs or cats put on weight is because they eat too much and exercises too little. Many studies can find no evidence to suggest pets gain weight because of spaying and neutering.

Myth: Bitches should be allowed to have one litter before being spayed.
This is an old wives tale. There is no reason for bitches to have a litter before being spayed. This would just add to the already out of control dog overpopulation and cause more innocent dogs to be put to death.

The Harm A Litter Can Do
The Harm A Litter Can Do

Myth: When you spay and neuter pets, it changes their personalities.
The only behavioural change is that undesirable behavior is reduced, such as roaming and aggression in dogs. See the ‘Behavioural Benefits of Spaying And Neutering’ section above for more information.

Myth: Bitches should not be spayed until they have had their first season.

There is no reason for a bitch to wait until after her first heat to be spayed. Only on the advice of a vet for a specific medical reason, should you wait.

Image: You may think it’s OK to breed animals if you find them great homes. But what can seem a great home now, may not be in a while. And what about if they don’t have their pets neutered and spayed? How do you know what will happen to their pets babies, and their pets babies babies, etc? Statistics say that many of them will end up in shelters, and put to death, alone and unwanted. All because you didn’t spay or neuter your pet in the first place.

Neutered And Spayed Ridiculous Reasons For Not Spaying And Neutering
Ridiculous Reasons For Not Spaying And Neutering

Thinking About Just One Litter?

Isn’t it wrong to deprive an animal of the natural right to reproduce?
It is not cruel to prevent pets from reproducing. It is responsible. People who do not have their pets neutered and spayed may end up with a litter. They then become responsible for generations of those pets and their babies. They will most likely be responsible for the deaths of many innocent shelter animals. Causing that to happen is cruel.

There are nowhere near enough homes for the existing population of dogs and cats due to the high pet abandonment rate. As long as people breed their pets, they are feeding the overpopulation. People buy the newly bred puppies and kittens instead of saving the lives by adopting abandoned cats and dogs.

Responsible, reputable breeders should have homes for all the animals they are breeding, before mating even takes place (see Bad Breeders). Even then, it is likely they are taking away a home that a shelter pet might have had.

I’ve got a pure breed / pedigree dog, can’t I allow her to have just one litter?
There are a lot of purebreds in shelters. Around 25% – 30% of the dogs in shelters and rescues are pure breeds. Many of those never find homes and are sadly put to death along with millions of others every year. Pets in shelters and rescues are all ages from young to old. Most are not problematic like people believe.

Thinking About Breeding A Litter ? Think Again
Thinking About Breeding A Litter ? Think Again

How Can I Help?

You can help stop the deaths of innocent dogs, cats, rabbits, and more, at pounds and shelters. Spread the word any way you can.Use your voice to educate and influence other people.

Share the information or images on this page through social media, or on any other platform you can.

Put up posters and flyers in your area, such as the one below, or deliver them through doors.

10 Reasons To Spay And Neuter
10 Reasons To Spay And Neuter

Use what you wear to raise awareness, by displaying messages your accessories and clothes, like the T-shirts below.

Image: Pro-spay and neuter T-shirts sold in our Fundraising Store

Pro Spay And Neuter T Shirts 1
Pro Spay And Neuter T Shirts 1
Neutered And Spayed Pro Spay And Neuter T Shirts 2
Pro Spay And Neuter T Shirts 2

Do a school assignment on the topic that will help educate classmates and teachers.

And of course, last but not least, spay and neuter your pets.

Spreading The Word On Social Media

Join social media site groups and pages selling puppies and kittens. On posts where people state they are looking for a dog or cat, respectfully ask them if they would consider adopting a rescued dog or cat. Point them to this list where they can find animal rescues in their area.

Let the know of the different kinds of rescues: general dog/cat/animal rescues, rescues for small dog breeds only and large dog breeds only, rescues for specific dog or cat breeds that cover probably every breed, rescues for specific species of pet.

Tell them how by adopting they will be saving a life. Let them know that by adopting they will make a life saving rescue space available. That will save the life of a pound dog or cat that would otherwise be destroyed when their short time at the pound ran out.

There are many animals needing these life saving rescue  spaces, so the more people who adopt, the fewer pets have to die feeling frightened, alone and unloved.

Other Ways To Help Stop Animal Suffering

On this site there are many varied ways you can help animals and help stop cruelty. There is something for every personality type, no matter what their circumstances.

If you would like to learn more about why we so urgently need to help stop animal suffering, please see this website. It will allow you to broaden your knowledge of many different types of world wide animal abuse. This will give you the ability to help animals by spreading awareness and answering questions people may have. Please be aware that you may find the information distressing, especially if sensitive.

One great way to help animals is to share the information you have seen on this website. Doing so means more people could help stop animal cruelty. That would make you responsible for more animals being saved from suffering. Together we can help people help animals <3 

Be A Warrior For Animals
Be A Warrior For Animals


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