Woman and dog with cone.

We all know that caring for our pets properly is what keeps them healthy and happy. Having a pet spayed or neutered is no different. While there are many reasons to spay or neuter a pet, we’ll discuss three of the most important reasons in this article.

1. Spaying or Neutering Helps Reduce Pet Overpopulation

Many people don’t realize that spaying or neutering your pet benefits the community at large by helping to reduce pet overpopulation. Spaying and neutering are not only beneficial for your pet’s health—these procedures also play an essential role in helping to reduce the number of homeless pets. 

Spaying Your Female Pet

Spaying is the medical term for removing a female cat’s ovaries and uterus. The procedure is often called “fixing” because it prevents unplanned pregnancies and undesirable behaviors associated with female dogs and cats in heat. 

Neutering Your Male Pet

Neutering is the medical term for removing a male pet’s testicles. This surgery prevents your pet from breeding and contributing to unplanned litters and pet overpopulation. 

2. Spaying and Neutering Promotes Pet Wellness

Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the most important things you can do to help them live a long, healthy life.

Spaying or neutering your pet has many health benefits, including:

  • Decreased risk of reproductive cancers in females.
  • Decreased risk of breast cancer, uterine infections, ovarian and uterine infections, pyometra (uterus infection), and false pregnancies in females.
  • Decreased risk of testicular cancer in males.
  • Decreased risk of prostate disease and prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) in males.
  • Decreased risk of perianal fistulas in males.

3. Spaying and Neutering Improves Behavior

Many people are concerned that the procedure will change their pet’s personality. However, it’s important to understand the importance of spaying and neutering in improving your pet’s behavior.

Aggression is one of the most common behavioral problems in dogs and cats. Studies have found that one in five dogs shows aggressive behavior toward humans at some point in their life, while one in three cats will display similar aggression at least once. While there are many theories about why this occurs, studies suggest that spaying or neutering can help reduce aggression. 

One study found that dogs who were neutered before they reached sexual maturity were less likely than unaltered animals to show aggressive behavior toward other dogs, even when provoked by strangers or strange objects like bikes or skateboards rolling down sidewalks.

And spaying or neutering your dog can keep them from wandering, which is a significant reason pets end up lost. And some studies have shown that spaying or neutering may reduce undesirable behaviors such as chewing, digging, barking, howling, whining excessively, and inappropriate urination and defecation outside litter boxes.For medical and behavioral reasons, your pet should be spayed or neutered between two and eight months before reaching sexual maturity. Please contact us with any questions or concerns about spaying or neutering your pet or to make an appointment. At Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital, our team is always here to help!