Two friendly domestic catIt may seem like a good idea to wait to spay or neuter your pet – or forego the procedure altogether – but this choice can be costly for both of you. With so many homeless pets facing euthanasia each year, it makes sense to prevent unwanted litters. However, did you know your pet’s health can also be improved by this simple procedure?


When we spay or neuter your pet, it involves the surgical sterilization of specific reproductive organs while under general anesthesia.

  • In spaying your female pet, her ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus are removed. This stops her ability to reproduce and deters behaviors related to mating instincts and sex hormones.
  • Neutering your male pet involves the removal of his testes, eliminating the breeding cycle and related behavioral instincts caused by sex hormones. This can make your male pet happier to remain safe at home with you and stop roaming around in search of a mate. When you consider that more than 75% of all dogs hit by cars are intact males, the choice is clear.

Lifelong Benefits

Without heat cycles, your pet will not feel the need to leave in search of a mate, making the roaming instinct obsolete. Obviously, preventing unwanted cats and dogs is another major benefit to our neighborhoods and communities – not to mention a great way to support animal welfare in general.

In addition, the lifelong benefits of spaying and neutering are unparalleled. By spaying your female cat, you minimize and/or eliminate her risk of:

  • Mammary gland tumors
  • Ovarian or uterine cancer
  • Uterine infections

Likewise, you protect your male pet from developing:

  • Testicular cancer
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Enlarged prostate gland
  • Prostate disease
  • Aggressive behavior that can result in injury (e.g., car accidents or fights with other animals)

Overall, this relatively quick surgery can help your cat live 3-5 years longer and can increase your dog’s life by 1-3 years. That means a better, happier life for your companion. Brilliant!

Spay or Neuter Your Pet

We will discuss with you the best time to spay or neuter your pet. It’s not uncommon for a puppy or kitten to have this surgery as early as 8 weeks old, but it may be prudent to wait until your pet is approximately 6 months old. Following the procedure, we recommend a slow, quiet recovery which will allow your young pet to heal much quicker in the long run.

The absence of your pet’s sex hormones can affect his or her behavior, but changes are typically perceived as positive. This can include wanting to stay closer to home and no longer spraying around the house. Contrary to popular belief, your spayed or neutered pet will not gain weight with regular exercise and proper nutrition.

An Act of Love

The decision to spay or neuter your pet is a great one. It not only benefits your companion, it improves our entire community. All dogs and cats deserve a loving place to call home, but with the number of homeless pets reaching the millions, this becomes harder and harder to achieve.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns about spaying or neutering your pet. At Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital, we’re always here to help!