One of the earliest health decisions you’ll have to make for your new pet is whether to get him or her fixed. If you don’t want to spend the money, it can be tempting to think a bit of due diligence – and keeping the opposite gender at bay – is enough to protect Fluffy or Fido’s best interests. The truth, however, is more complicated: it may seem like spaying and neutering is just a simple matter of pet population control, but these procedures can actually have lifelong benefits for your pet, quite beyond preventing unexpected litters.
Curb bad behavior
So, why should you shell out for this procedure? Well, there are the behavioural benefits of getting your pet fixed: ask anyone who’s lived with a female cat in heat and they’ll likely agree it’s not an experience to seek out. Of course, female dog owners aren’t off the hook either: not only do you have to deal with randy males sniffing around, but then there’s the unpleasant matter of bloody discharge. Really, there are many reasons to get female dogs and cats spayed, notes Petfinder.
With males, fixing your pet can help prevent unwanted behaviors like spraying to mark territory, displaying aggression towards other animals, or mounting people and furniture, Petfinder points out. Neutering can also help keep your male dog or cat from roaming the neighborhood in search of a potential mate.
Health benefits of getting your pet fixed
But quite beyond the positive behavioral changes that spaying and neutering can bring, it turns out that getting your furry friend fixed is also much better for his or her health, explains an article in Inside Halton.
For instance, by getting your female pet spayed, you can eliminate her risk for complications like cystic ovarian disease and pyometritis. And then there’s the fact that dogs and cats do not go through menopause, so females remain fertile long after it’s healthy for them to have babies. But it isn’t just dog and cat owners that need to consider the importance of getting their pets fixed: owners of smaller exotic animals like rats, rabbits and ferrets can also follow the same advice.
The health benefits of getting your pet fixed are numerous: spaying your female dog or cat prior to her first heat can offer significant protection against breast cancer, and prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer, according to the American Humane Society. Male dogs and cats aren’t left out of the positive health effects either: neutering can eliminate your pet’s risk of testicular cancer and prostate gland enlargement, and significantly reduces his chances of developing perianal tumours.
To find a low-cost spay-neuter clinic near you, visit Get Your Fix, which also provides a free service that introduces pet owners in need to sponsors who want to help by funding a spay-neuter surgery.
If you want your pet to live a longer, happier life – and what pet owner wouldn’t? – you should be sure to talk to your vet about scheduling the operation. The amount that you spend getting your furball spayed or neutered is an investment in his or her future, and considering the health benefits, it may even save you money in the longer run.