Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet     
by Linda Mar Veterinary Hospital

Spaying or Neutering Is Good for You, Your Pet & Your Community! It:

Helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.

Eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when your pet is spayed before her first estrous cycle.

Eliminates the heat cycle for female cats and dogs. Estrus lasts an average of six to 12 days, often twice a year, in dogs and an average of six to seven days, three or more times a year, in cats.

Eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.

Makes pets better, more affectionate companions.

Makes cats less likely to spray and mark territory.

Helps stop the proliferation of viral disease, like feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus.

Makes pets less likely to roam the neighborhood, run away, or get into fights.

Ignore the myths!

FACT: Spaying or neutering will not make your pet gain weight and become lazy.

FACT: It is not better to have one litter first! Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier.

FACT: Your wonderful pet's offspring won't be a carbon copy. Professional animal breeders who follow generations of bloodlines can't guarantee they will get just what they want out of a particular litter. A pet owner's chances are even slimmer. In fact, an entire litter of puppies or kittens might receive all of a pet's (and her mate's) worst characteristics.

FACT: It's less expensive to have your pet spayed or neutered than having a litter and ensuring the health of the mother and litter; two months of pregnancy and another two months until the litter is weaned can add up to significant veterinary bills and food costs if complications develop.

FACT: Animals should not have litters simply so children can experience the miracle of birth! Even if children are able to see a pet give birth--which is unlikely, since it usually occurs at night and in seclusion--the lesson they will really learn is that animals can be created and discarded as it suits adults. Instead, it should be explained to children that the real miracle is life and that preventing the birth of some pets can save the lives of others.

FACT: Even purebred litters contribute to pet overpopulation - at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country are purebred. There are just too many dogs and cats--mixed breed and purebred alike.

FACT: Spaying or neutering does not affect a dog's natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog's personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.

FACT: Pets don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet's basic personality. He doesn't suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.

FACT: More than 25 million kittens and puppies are born in the US each year. (That's about the human population of Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Minnesota combined!)

FACT: In the US alone, more than 3-5 million animals must be euthanized in shelters each year. That's half of the 6-10 million animals brought into shelters each year.

FACT: You may find homes for all of your pet's litter. But each home you find means one less home for the dogs and cats in shelters who need good homes. Also, in less than one year's time, each of your pet's offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population. The problem of pet overpopulation is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.

FACT: You should call to speak with a veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns regarding having your pet spayed or neutered!

The above is general veterinary information. Do not begin any course of treatment without consulting your regular veterinarian. All animals should be examined at least once every 12 months.
About the Author
Linda Mar Veterinary Hospital and its cat-only affiliate, Coastal Cat Clinic, are small animal practices located in Pacifica, California. To find a veterinarian or to learn more about the vet clinic and our staff, visit:[http://lindamarvet.com/]

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