The Great Debate: Why Should Owners Spay or Neuter Their Pets?
When you get a new pet or if you’re thinking about adopting one, you may be wondering if you need to spay or neuter them. At New Haven Pet Hospital, we believe that spaying or neutering your pet is one of the greatest gifts you can give, and the benefits of this procedure are worth it. Time and again, we see both our pets and our community thrive with this safe and effective procedure. Let us tell you why.
Spay and Neuter 101
First, what exactly is spaying and neutering? Spaying (for females) and neutering (for males) is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs. In females, the uterus and ovaries are removed; in males, the testicals are removed. Both of these procedures are performed in our hospital by a veterinarian while your pet is under general anesthesia. Pets can be spayed or neutered as young as 8 weeks, but we recommend the procedure occur between 4-6 months of age, before they reach sexual maturity.
Why Spay or Neuter Your Pet?
So what are the benefits of spaying or neutering your pet? Here are our top reasons.
Health benefits — The health benefits of spaying and neutering are well documented. They include reducing the chances of certain types of cancer and increased lifespan.
Behavior benefits — Because your pet is no longer hormonally driven to seek a mate, they’re less likely to try to escape from your yard and roam. Males are less likely to mark their territory with urine, and females are less likely to vocalize (middle of the night yowling, anyone?). Females will also not come into heat, so there’s less mess to clean and keep track of.
Curbing roaming tendencies also decreases the chances your pet will get hit by a car or wander into other dangerous mishaps, reducing the need for emergency care.
Prevent pet overpopulation — Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of spaying or neutering your pet is that you will be helping to alleviate the problem of pet homelessness. The ASPCA estimates that 6-7 million pets enter shelters each year. Of those, about half are euthanized. Millions of deaths can be prevented by spaying and neutering our pets.
Spay and Neuter Safety
Although all surgical procedures carry some risk, spaying and neutering are very common procedures, and most pets handle surgery very well. At our practice, we take anesthesia safety very seriously, and we take steps before, during, and after surgery to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort. After surgery, you’ll receive detailed instructions so you feel confident and comfortable continuing care at home.
Our surgical protocol includes:
- Comprehensive physical exam
- Pre-anesthetic blood testing
- Pre-anesthetic electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Digital x-rays or ultrasound
- Careful monitoring of your pet during surgery and recovery
- Advanced pain management techniques during surgery and recovery
We hope you have a better understanding of the many benefits of spaying and neutering. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always here to help!