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Spay/Neuter Basics: Questions and Answers

Monday, November 9, 2015

Kitten in spay/neuter clinicSpay/neuter surgery is a lifesaving procedure that can help end pet homelessness. As a pet lover, you know that spaying or neutering your pet is a part of responsible pet ownership.

However, if you’re not familiar with spay/neuter surgery, it might seem confusing or even a little nerve-wracking, especially if you’re planning to schedule the procedure for your own pet.

Let this Q&A bring you up to speed and ease your mind.

Why is spay/neuter surgery important?

Spaying or neutering pets tackles overpopulation by targeting the problem at its source. An estimated 7 million pets enter U.S. shelters annually. Nearly 3 million healthy, adoptable pets never find homes.

Preventing litters keeps thousands of pets from ending up in shelters every year. Simply put, spay/neuter surgery saves pets’ lives.

What are the benefits of spay/neuter surgery?

Spaying or neutering saves pets’ lives by preventing cats, dogs, kittens and puppies from ending up in shelters, where they will likely face euthanasia. By having your own pet fixed, you’ll keep your family from adding to the overpopulation problem.

Fixed pets are healthier and happier. The surgery decreases aggression, marking and territorial instincts. Cats are less likely to yowl and roam. Overall, spayed or neutered pets are more affectionate, happier companions.

The surgery has physical benefits, too. It reduces the chance that your pet will develop cancer later in life. Female pets are best protected from the uterine and ovarian cancers when they are spayed before their first heat. When the surgery is performed before a male pet is 6 months of age, it prevents testicular cancer.

Will spay/neuter surgery change my pet’s personality or behavior?

It might surprise to know that spay/neuter surgery can have a positive effect on your pet’s personality and behavior.

Male unneutered dogs experience frustration because they can’t mate, which can lead to aggression. Intact female dogs attract unwanted attention every 6 months. From a psychological and biological point-of-view, spay/neuter surgery is the best thing for your pet.

What is a safe age for pets to have the procedure?

Pets can become pregnant before they’re 6 months old. The American Veterinary Medical Association says spay/neuter surgery is acceptable for pets as young as 8-10 weeks of age, and research shows that kittens and puppies can be spayed or neutered safely at 2 pounds in weight or 2 months of age. For young pets, veterinarians with special training in early-age spaying or neutering perform the surgeries safely every day.

What is the surgery like for my pet?

A licensed vet will perform the surgery while your pet is under anesthesia. Your pet may be in some pain after the surgery, and the veterinarian will provide post-surgery pain medication to help.

Isn’t spay/neuter surgery expensive?

PetSmart Charities™ supports low-cost spay/neuter clinics throughout the country. These specialized clinics will provide your pet with safe, high-quality care at an affordable price. And after all, the surgery is certainly cheaper than caring for unwanted litters.

Are you ready to fight pet overpopulation? Find a low-cost spay/neuter clinic near you.

 

Comments(1)

Alexandra

I had my 6 months puppy spayed at CSRA Lifesavers in North Augusta, SC. cost was very doable for me, $75 plus exam & pain Meds. However, safety as my utmost concern and I must say that I'm very pleased with the staff - very friendly and the overall procedure. It's a bit difficult to get an appointment but worth it!
They also offer affordable shots, etc. I recommend them highly!

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