February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, a perfect time to consider the overall impact of altering your pet. Although spays and neuters are very common, routine surgeries, many people still harbor misconceptions about both. Understanding the pros and cons of spays and neuters is essential.
A spayed or neutered dog will obviously not be able to give birth to or father a litter. If keeping your dog's line active truly matters to you and you're following responsible breeding practices, you might not be in such a hurry to schedule surgery.
However, a dog that produces no offspring will not contribute to the 1-2 million pets euthanized in shelters every year. These otherwise healthy and adoptable pets include purebred dogs and cats, making less of a case for breeding your pet.
Keeping intact pets can cause a lot of stress for the household, making altering your pet a decision that will keep things a lot more quiet and peaceful. Animals are more likely to wander in search of mates when unaltered, urine mark in the house, and whine or otherwise vocalize a lot.
In some cases, having a puppy spayed before her first heat can cause hormonal imbalances. However, this does not preclude spaying, you will just need to work with your vet to determine what the best age is for the surgery.
Spaying eliminates the possibility of often-fatal uterine infections, as well as reduces the chance of breast cancer. Neutering eliminates the testicular cancer risk.
Altering might make your pet gain some weight. However, with regular exercise and a healthy diet, this is easy to manage.
Spaying or neutering your pet will provide a lot of helpful benefits. Even though altering has some cons, you'll find that the benefits outweigh them. Every dog and every family is different. Whether you are choosing to alter your pet or not is something you need to research and decide for yourself and discuss with your vet.