Spaying or neutering is one of the most important steps that pet parents can take to ensure their dog or cat will lead a healthy and happy life.
So why do so many people still not neuter their pets?
Here are some myths around spaying and neutering:
“Spaying or neutering is too expensive.” Caring for a pet can be pricey, but having a pet spayed or neutered doesn’t have to be a major expense. If you are on certain benefits, Cats Protection, Blue Cross, the RSPCS or the PDSA will help you spay or neuter at a discount (and sometimes even for free!). Don’t forget: The cost of spaying or neutering a pet is negligible compared with the costs of caring for an accidental litter.
“Spaying or neutering will change my pet’s personality.” This is a common fear, but it’s unfounded. Spaying or neutering your pet will not change their personality,” You will see less dominant/ territorial behavior and less tendency for roaming after they are neutered/spayed, but in general their happy, playful personalities remain the same.
“I don’t have to spay/neuter because my pet is always indoors/always with me.” If your pet is always with you or always indoors, he might not be getting sufficient exercise and socialization. But having a pet spayed or neutered doesn’t just prevent him or her from having an accidental litter; it’s also important for other health reasons. For females there is an increased risk of mammary cancer if they are allowed to go through multiple heat cycles. Entire females get an infected uterus called a pyometra, which can be life-threatening and requires surgery to remove the uterus. Males have an increased risk of prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) as well as testicular cancer because they remain intact
“Spaying or neutering will cause my pet unnecessary pain.” No one wants a beloved pet to be in pain! But don’t worry: Vets are extremely experienced when it comes to performing this procedure. Animals do not feel any discomfort while under anaesthesia and they are also administered pain and anti-inflammatory medications after the procedures to keep them comfortable as they heal. Childbirth is a painful experience. Without the pain killing drugs at your maternity ward how would you have coped?
“I don’t want to emasculate my pet.” Your male pet doesn’t want to be “manly” — he wants to be safe, healthy and loved. Having him neutered is one way to ensure he’ll stay that way. The health benefits include decreased risk of prostatitis and elimination of risk of testicular cancer.
“Spaying or neutering will make my pet fat.” If you’re worried about your pet gaining weight, make sure he’s getting plenty of exercise and eating nutritious, high-protein meals in appropriate portions. Diet and exercise — not spaying and neutering — are what truly matter when it comes to your pet’s weight.
“I want my pet to have a litter because she’s just so cute!” Of course puppies and kittens are cute! But that doesn’t mean your pet needs to have a litter. There are thousands of puppies and kittens in rescues, waiting for forever homes. Each year, thousands of unwanted dogs and cats are put to sleep because of overpopulation. If you’re really craving some time with a puppy or kitten, go to your nearest rescue centre and volunteer to help out.