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Spaying or neutering your dog or cat - the pros and cons

Avoid unwanted births - spay or neuter your pets for their own safety and those of the unborn babies.
Avoid unwanted births - spay or neuter your pets for their own safety and those of the unborn babies.

When you get a new pet, you will most often be advised that it is best to get the animal spayed or neutered for its own protection and that of the newborn and, many times, unwanted offspring. The only way to stop animal abuse and over-population of dogs and cats is through de-sexing of the animals. Speak with your local Rockford area veterinarian as listed below (or one closest to your hom) regarding the safe options for spaying or neutering your pet.

There has been some controversy as to the advantages and disadvantages of getting your dog or cat spayed or neutered. A male pet is castrated or neutered by removing the gonads or testicles. Spaying a female dog or cat involves removing the ovaries and uterus. Both procedures are done under anesthesia and involve surgical incisions.

If you are concerned whether your dog or cat should be spayed or neutered, it is important to consider the pros and cons in the best interest of your pet. The most obvious pro is in the prevention of unwanted births. Some other pros to consider are –

· A pet that has been de-sexed will be calmer and refrain from wandering to look for a mate when a female is in heat.

· A spayed female has fewer health issues such as ovarian cysts, uterine infections and cancer of the reproductive tract.

· Testicular cancer is no longer a problem in a neutered male and prostate problems are greatly reduced as well.

Spaying or neutering your dog or cat provides for a healthier pet in many respects. Some people believe there are disadvantages in spaying or neutering their pet as well, such as –

· The possibility of obesity and weight gain. A desexed dog or cat tends to gain weight and requires 25 per cent fewer calories. This is because the de-sexed dog has gone through hormonal changes and has a lower metabolic rate.

· Genetics can play a factor in de-sexing your dog or cat. If the pet is a fine specimen of its breed and the last of its line, it will not be able to pass on its genetic bloodline, which can end its breeding lineage. A neutered, sterilized pet can no longer reproduce.

· Loss of testosterone can result in immature development of masculine characteristics in your male dog or cat. Testosterone is responsible for the development of the muscles, penis and other masculine features.

· A delay in growth plate closure can occur due to early de-sexing of your pet, normally before 12 months of age. The growth plate is the cartilage at the end of the pet’s long bones that is responsible for making the bones grow and elongate during juvenile development. De-sexing during the pet’s young development can stunt its normal growth. Many shelters and humane societies choose early de-sexing of the pet before adopting it out as a safe alternative to overpopulation.

· The final disadvantage to many pet parents is the cost. Veterinary care and surgery can be a huge expense. As a responsible pet owner, though, you want to do what is best for the health of your dog or cat. Others may be concerned about the anesthesia and how safe it is for a pet. Speak to your veterinarian regarding your concerns. Sometimes they will work a payment plan out for you and answer all your concerns. If not, get another opinion. Your pet’s health is worth all the efforts for a long happy life.

After careful consideration and working closely with your veterinarian, do what is best for your pet. Keep in mind the overpopulation of dogs and cats as well. Statistics have shown that millions of unwanted pets end up in shelters each and every year. Only one in 10 taken into these shelters will eventually find a home – the rest are destroyed. You as a responsible pet owner can help to lower these statistics by doing the right and healthy thing for your own dog or cat – have your pet spayed or neutered.

For Vet assistance in the Rockford area, you can check out -,,, - for all cat issues, go to -

For all your pets needs in Rockford, go to your local PETCO - 6305 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, (815) 229-0184 - your local PETSMART - 6320 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61108, (815) 397-7880 - - PETLAND, (815) 332-4200 -

For many of your pets essentials, visit your local Rockford area CVS pharmacies. There are four convenient locations - 3134 11th Street, Rockford, IL 61109, (815)398-0048 - 110 S Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61108 - 3718 Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103, (815)877-9620- 2454 S. Alpine Rd.,
Rockford, IL 61108, (815)399-5421

For Rockford, Illinois and area residents, if you need great care for your furry best friends, while on vacation, at work or anytime, check out this site at and contact Carol with any questions at She is quick with her responses. For other great local pet care – go to -,

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