You have a new puppy or kitty at home - how exciting! With your new fur baby, it is overwhelming to remember all the things you should do to set up your pet’s health for success. From learning their vaccination schedule to choosing the right food, there’s a lot that goes into keeping your new friend happy and healthy. We’re here to take one very important thing off your list of pet care to worry about: spaying and neutering. This is one of the most crucial decisions you can make for your puppy or kitten. We’ll explain what spaying and neutering are, when they should be done, and most importantly, why they are so important.
What Does Spaying or Neutering a Pet Mean?
Spaying or neutering, simply put, is a medical procedure that makes your animal unable to reproduce, although it also has many other health benefits! Spaying is the proper term for the procedure for female pets, and is when the some or all of her reproductive organs are removed, while neutering is the term for male pets, which is when his testes are removed. Although it may sound like a scary procedure, it actually is quite routine, and is highly recommended it most cases by doctors. These procedures help ensure that your pet can live out a long, healthy life!
When Does an Animal Get Spayed or Neutered?
We recommend discussing with your vet to determine the appropriate time to spay or neuter your pet, as every pet’s situation is different. There are general guidelines on when you can spay/neuter your puppy or kitty:
- Dogs can be spayed or neutered between six to nine months of age
- Cats can be spayed or neutered around 6 months of age
Age does matter when deciding to spay/neuter your dog or cat! Doing this early on can better prevent the diseases and health issues, such as testicular cancer, breast tumors, uterine infections, and prostate-related issues. However, if you have an older cat or dog who is not spayed/neutered, they can certainly still be spayed/neutered. We’ll discuss all of your options at your first wellness visit, and advise on the best time for your pet.
Should I wait with spaying until my pet gets her first heat?
This is a question for your vet! The best route varies for each pet based on health history, breed, size, and other factors. Talk to your vet to choose the best time for your pet!
Why Spay or Neuter My Pet?
Well, for starters, these procedures eliminate the chance of unplanned litters! There is already a extremely high demand for fosters and adoptions, so doing our part in reducing that number is a start. Beyond this, these procedures also reduce the need to reproduce, which will help eliminate the urge for your pet to leave home in search of a mate. Unneutered or unspayed pets have a tendency to find a way out and seek a companion to mate with, which puts their lives in jeopardy by crossing through traffic and potentially fighting other dogs. They also may develop aggressive or unwanted behavior like marking their territory or mounting other animals.
Lastly, and surely not least, spaying and neutering our pets massively reduces the risk of many health conditions, such as testicular cancer, breast tumors, uterine infections, and prostate-related issues. We are in the business of keeping your fur family as healthy and happy as possible, and know this is one of the best ways to achieve that mission!
Is There Ever a Time I Shouldn’t Get My Pet Spayed or Neutered?
It is quite rare that our vet will suggest that a pet does not go through with these procedures, knowing the health benefits listed above. However, it is always recommended to talk to our team if you have any concerns or questions! We take each pet case by case, and are happy to discuss all options.