Being a Responsible Pet Owner: Spaying and Neutering

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Being a Responsible Pet Owner: Spaying and Neutering

Staff Writer · Jul 8, 2010

Part of being a responsible pet owner is spaying and neutering your pets. While some pet owners may be concerned about their pets living “less fulfilling” lives because of the operation, read on to learn why having the operation is more than just for controlling the pet population and can actually prove incredibly beneficial for you and your pets.

Eliminates or Reduces Pet’s Chances of Certain Diseases

The responsible pet owner tries to decrease or eliminate a pet’s chance of coming down with disease. Spaying eliminates a female’s chances of coming down with ovarian cancer and also reduces her chances of having mammary gland tumors or uterine cancer, especially if you spay her before she’s able to have babies. Neutering eliminates a male’s chances of getting testicular cancer and also greatly reduces his risk of getting prostate disease. Both genders have lower risk of perianal tumors when spayed or neutered. The average neutered or spayed dog lives 1 to 3 years longer; the average spayed or neutered cat lives 3 to 5 years longer.

Greatly Reduces Roaming

Most pets that wander away are never recovered and live considerably shorter lives than indoor pets or pets that are outdoors only when supervised. This is because of traffic accidents, fights with wild animals, ingesting poisons, overly hot or cold weather and greater risks for injury. Pets that are found by shelters may not be reunited with their owners, which could result in them being euthanized. A pet that has been spayed or neutered is less likely to roam in search of mates, which increases its chances of living longer lives alongside its responsible pet owner.

Makes Pet Less Anxious and Better Behaved

Neutered and spayed pets are more loyal to the responsible pet owner and less likely to exhibit inconvenient behaviors. If you have a neutered male, particularly a cat, he’s less likely to be aggressive or pee around the apartment to mark his territory, particularly if you neuter him when he’s young. If you have a female, she won’t go into heat, meaning that she won’t spray her scent around the apartment or howl. Males won’t be attracted to her, meaning that males and females can live much more peacefully side by side.

Decreases Chances of Owner Injury

Along with a better-behaved pet comes a much smaller risk of owner injury, particularly if the pet is male and would have otherwise been more prone to aggressive behavior. Bites from any kind of pet can lead to serious injury, particularly cat bites, which even from otherwise healthy cats may lead to infection in the blood stream because of a kind of bacteria in a cat’s saliva that is virtually harmless to humans most of the time, unless the cat bites a person and punctures the skin.

A responsible pet owner makes the best decisions for his or her pet and the community. If you think you’ll have difficulty affording the operation, look into low-cost programs in your area though the local humane shelter.

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