We all recognize February as a month for “puppy love,” but did you know it’s also Spay and Neuter Awareness Month? This timely awareness campaign is one answer to the surge of puppies and kittens that will enter animal shelters during the spring and summer months.
Spaying and neutering are the most effective tools we have to combat pet overpopulation. Not to mention, these operations offer a tremendous number of medical and behavioral benefits for both dogs and cats.
Still on the fence? Let’s take a look at some commonly held myths surrounding pet sterilization and get the story straight.
5 Myths about spaying and neutering debunked
Myth 1: “Neutering (or spaying) my pet will make him fat.”
When it comes to weight gain, sterilization is not to blame. The true culprits of a pudgy pup are overeating and a lack of exercise. Keep your dog trim with daily walks and regular playtime. Your vet can help you determine how much food your pet needs to maintain a healthy weight.
Myth 2: “I can’t afford such an expensive operation.”
- The cost of a neuter or spay operation is more affordable than you might think, usually falling somewhere in the range of $35-300.
- There are a number of programs that will perform the operation at a discount—or even free!
- When you consider the expense of caring for an accidental litter, the one-time cost of a spay or neuter operation is unquestionably preferable.
- If you are looking for a low cost spay or neuter clinic in your area – check out the resources on Grumble Dog.
Myth 3: “Sterilization will destroy my dog’s ‘masculinity.’”
It’s easy to assign human emotions and thoughts to our pets. But the reality is, dogs don’t have a ****** identity the way humans do. Trust us, they aren’t going to miss their testicles.
Myth 4: “Sterilization will change my dog’s personality.”
Your dog’s personality is largely determined by genetics, so removing his reproductive organs won’t affect his friendly disposition or his protective instincts.
Myth 5: “My pet stays indoors, so spaying/neutering isn’t necessary.”
Pet overpopulation aside, neutering or spaying your dog brings with it a host of health benefits that can’t be overlooked. Studies show that dogs who are “fixed” enjoy a longer lifespan than those who are not. Spaying your female dog also reduces her risk of uterine infections as well as certain types of cancer.
Myth 6: “The operation causes unnecessary pain, and I don’t want my pet to suffer.”
No one wants their pet to suffer needlessly. But when you weigh the pros against the cons, the choice to spay or neuter wins every time. Plus, your dog will receive pain medication prior to and following surgery to minimize his or her discomfort. Follow your vet’s instructions for administering meds to keep your pet as pain-free as possible.
5 Benefits of having your dog spayed or neutered
Conscientious pet owners will be happy to hear that a spay or neuter operation is a surefire way to improve their pup’s health and happiness. Read on to learn all the ways your dog can benefit from this procedure.
1. Cancer Prevention
We all want to give our pets the best chance of a long, healthy life, and sterilization is an excellent way to achieve this. Spaying your female dog will greatly reduce her risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer. In males, the operation eliminates the risk of testicular cancer. Not a bad bonus.
2. Keep your pet from roaming
A dog looking for a mate will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. This includes jumping fences and bolting if he’s allowed off-leash. Don’t let this happen! If your dog gets loose, there’s a world of trouble he can find himself in such as encounters with unfriendly dogs (or people) and traffic injuries.
Having your dog spayed or neutered will drastically reduce his likeliness to roam, keeping him right where he should be—safe at home with you.
3. Improved behavior
A better-behaved pup? Yes, please. Neutering your dog will make him less aggressive and less prone to mark his territory (ie: urinating all over your home.)
4. It helps your entire community
A dog on the loose can be a real nightmare for your neighborhood. WebMD points out that roaming dogs can cause car accidents, attack wildlife, damage local fauna, and scare children, so you’ll be doing your community a service by having your dog spayed or neutered.
5. It reduces pet overpopulation
Unplanned litters account for a high percentage of the millions of pets entering shelters each year. A simple spay or neuter operation will go a long way towards reducing these numbers.
5 Ways you can fight dog overpopulation
Want to help, but unsure how to do it? There are a few easy steps you can take to help combat the pet overpopulation crisis. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Spay and neuter your pet
Not to beat a dead horse, but having a pet spayed or neutered is the number one way to reduce the staggering number of animals that enter shelters every year.
2. Don’t intentionally breed your pet
Sure, we all love cuddly puppies and kittens, but there are already so many out there without a loving family to take care of them. Even if you find a home for your pet’s entire litter, those puppies are taking homes away from shelter animals who desperately want to be rescued. Please don’t take away their chances of being adopted.
3. Adopt your next pet from a shelter
Instead of shopping around with breeders or pet stores, check out your local rescue shelter when you’re ready to bring home another pet.
Even if you’re looking for a purebred dog, there are plenty of breed-specific rescue organizations out there for you to explore. Grumble dog is an excellent resource for finding a shelter or rescue in your area that will meet your needs.
4. Don’t intentionally breed your pet
We can’t stress this enough: adopting a pet is a lifelong commitment. It’s not something you can abandon once the thrill of a cute puppy wears off. Be sure you’re fully prepared to care for your dog for his entire lifetime, no matter what changes life might throw at you.
5. Spread the word!
Educate your children, friends, family, and co-workers about the harsh realities of pet overpopulation and the importance of neutering and spaying. The simplest way you can do this is by sharing this post with your online community. All it takes is one easy click. It’s that simple.
According to the ASPCA, over 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized in the United States each year. If that stat doesn’t sit well with you, do something about it! Even if it’s just a simple Facebook post, you’ll be doing your part to keep animals out of shelters and placed in loving fur-ever homes.