February marks National Spay & Neuter Awareness Month. February 26th is World Spay Day in 2013 and falls on the last Tuesday of every February since 1995. It was formerly known as National Spay Day in the United States and it has now grown to many other countries around the world.
Many animal welfare groups or pet hospitals celebrate National Spay & Neuter Month by have low-cost spay/neuter clinics and campaigns to educate the public about the importance of spaying and neutering.
Getting your dog or cat "fixed" so that they can't reproduce not only helps with pet overpopulation, but it has valuable health benefits for your pet too. Here are a few good reason that you should get your dog or cat spayed if you haven't already.
- Spaying a dog or cat before their first heat cycle reduces their risk of mammary cancer later in life. Each heat cycle the pet goes through increases their risk of contracting cancer when they're older.
- Older intact female dogs or cats are more likely to get pyometra. Pyometra is an infection of the uterus and can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated swiftly. An emergency spay surgery is needed if pyometra is present.
- Removing the ovaries and uterus of a pet by spaying them eliminates any chances that they will get ovarian or uterine cancer later on in life.
- Pets who are "fixed" may show less aggression.
- Spayed and neutered pets will be less likely to wander away in search of a mate and become lost.
- Spayed and neutered animals are less likely to "mark" their territory in inappropriate places such as your house.
- Male animals who are neutered at a young age will be less likely to get testicular cancer later on in life.
There are many more reasons why it's a good idea to get your pet spayed or neutered as well. It reduces pet overpopulation, saves pet's lives that are already in the shelter, prevents an animal from the stress of being pregnant and having babies, and more.
If you haven't had your pet spayed or neutered, what are you waiting for? February is the perfect time. If you need to find a low cost spay/neuter program, the ASPCA has a directory of listings for one near you.