Many people feel very strongly about spaying and neutering. On top of that, there are many myths out there on everything from costs to complications. What’s true, what’s not, and what’s just weird?
Here are 13 things you may not know about spay and neuter.
- Many communities host low-cost spay and neuter clinics to make it affordable for pet owners of all budgets. The ASPCA has a list of low-cost clinics and many independent clinics offer low-cost services as well.
- Have an especially nurturing pet? He or she can fulfill their nurturing instinct better if you bring in another pet as a lifelong companion than if they have a litter that will go to new homes after eight short weeks.
- Have you seen a feral cat with a notch or tip missing from its ear? It’s been neutered. The Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) movement spays and neuters feral cats to prevent unwanted litters; the ear lets other rescuers know the cat has already been fixed.
- Spayed dogs and cats are less likely to develop uterine and breast cancers, which are fatal in over 50% of cases.*
- Neutered dogs and cats are less likely to develop testicular cancer if neutered before they are six months old.*
- Ever hear that spaying or neutering will change your pet’s personality? It’s a myth. They’re getting reproductive surgery, not a personality transplant.
- A spayed or neutered pet is less likely to roam in search of a mate. This means your beloved Fido or Fluffy is less likely to get lost on a quest to follow hormones.
- Think male dogs look tougher with testicles intact? Now you can have your dog neutered and keep the intact look with Neuticles, a silicone implant inserted at the time of neutering.
- Studies show one of the strongest determinants of dog aggression is whether a male dog is neutered or not. Unneutered males are far more likely to show aggression than neutered or spayed dogs.**
- This correlation applies to dog bites as well. Unneutered males are more likely to bite than just about any other category of dog – and this includes breeds commonly considered aggressive.**
- Pets as young as eight weeks can have the surgery.
- Myth: spayed and neutered pets are more likely to gain weight. Truth: Bad diet and not enough exercise make pets more likely to gain weight.
- Most shelters and rescues include the cost of spaying and neutering in their adoption fee – a great deal when you compare it to the cost of buying a dog plus spay/neuter surgery, vaccines, and anything else the rescue includes.
There are many misconceptions about spaying and neutering, and it’s often hard to know what the truth is. If you have questions about these 13 facts or anything else related to spaying/neutering, be sure to ask your veterinarian.
And, to quote Bob Barker, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed and neutered.”