Updated 10/20/2012 05:00 AM
Pet Pointers: Why spay and neuter?
We all want our pets to be happy and healthy, and there is one thing that can improve their quality of life more than anything else: Having your pets spayed and neutered. In this edition of Pet Pointers, Lisa Chelenza has lots of reason why it’s important to spay and neuter our pets.
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Trying to save money by not having your pets spayed or neutered could cost you more in the future. You may have to pay for veterinary care for a pregnant mommy and her new kittens or puppies, treatment for reproductive cancers, and treatment of injuries resulting from negative behaviors associated with un-neutered animals, like roaming or fighting.
Having your pets spayed and neutered eliminates the chances of them reproducing, helping to stop pet overpopulation. There are at least nine cats for every human in the United States. Some shelters euthanize thousands of homeless animals each year, but by preventing unwanted litters from coming into the world, animals waiting in shelters have a much better chance of finding forever homes.
The risk of certain cancers is also reduced, mainly testicular and uterine cancers because those organs are removed during surgery.
Having your cats and dogs spayed or neutered as soon as your vet says it’s time, usually around 12-16 weeks, is the best course of action. This way, females never go into heat and males won’t learn to mark. You can also neuter rabbits, rats, and guinea pigs.
In the last decade, the number of people spaying and neutering their pets has more than doubled and the number of pets being euthanized has decreased substantially. But the problem of pet overpopulation still exists, and spaying and neutering is the most effective thing you can do for the good of your pet and your community.
If you think you can’t afford it, just look for a low cost clinic in your area.