A puppy and kitten look at the camera.

Puppies and kittens are cute, and no one at Brownswitch Pet Hospital is going to argue that point with you. Why then, do we counsel most pet owners to spay and neuter their adorable animals? Spay and neuter is a major part of responsible pet ownership and there are several compelling reasons to do so for your pet. 

What is Spay and Neuter?

Spay and neuter is the surgical process of removing the internal reproductive organs from a pet, rendering it unable to reproduce.

When spaying dogs or spaying cats, a surgical incision is made into the abdomen and both the uterus and ovaries are removed in their entirety.

When neutering dogs, an incision is made in front of the scrotal sac and the testicles are removed, usually without having to enter the abdomen (unless one or both testicles have not dropped into the scrotum). When neutering cats, the testicles are removed through an incision in the scrotum itself.

Combating Pet Overpopulation

Spaying or neutering your pet prevents unwanted litters from being born, giving pets that are born a better chance of finding the home they deserve.

Each year in the United States, millions of cats and dogs are euthanized or become strays simply because there are not enough homes for them. Before bringing new animals into the world, it is important to be sure that the breeding will result in healthy, wanted pets.

Should I Fix My Pets?

While there are exceptions to every rule, the overwhelming answer to “should I fix my pets?” is yes!

Spaying or neutering your pet carries with it several important health benefits as well. Besides helping the animal population in general, you can help your pet live a longer, healthier life.

Spay or neuter:

  • Eliminates risk of uterine infectionFemale pets who have not been spayed are at high risk for developing a serious, life-threatening infection in their uterus called a pyometra. Removing the uterus eliminates this possibility.
  • Decreases risk of mammary (breast) cancer – Spaying your pet before her first heat cycle almost entirely prevents the development of breast cancer down the line. Even pets who are spayed after they have had a heat enjoy a dramatically decreased risk.
  • Prevents testicular cancer – During a routine neuter procedure the testicles are removed, which eliminates the possibility for the development of testicular cancer. Intact male dogs are also at increased risk for perianal gland tumors. 
  • Decreases incidence of prostate problems – Male pets who are not neutered are more likely to suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.
  • Prevent roaming behavior – Pets who are intact are more likely to get out of the yard and roam while looking for mates. This puts them at increased risk for being injured or lost.

Pets who have been spayed or neutered also tend to have less behavioral issues. Intact females often yowl or urinate frequently while in heat, and intact males are more likely to exhibit marking behavior. Intact members of both sexes are more likely to fight with one another as well. 

Having your pet spayed or neutered is a very important part of caring for your pet. Animals that have been “fixed” are much less likely to have behavioral problems, become lost, and develop health issues such as cancer. Brownswitch Pet Hospital is proud to help our pet patients by providing safe, high quality surgical services. Please let us know if you would like to discuss whether spaying or neutering is right for your pet.