Would you want to kill a happy, healthy, loving pet? Most people would answer no, of course, and yet it happens every day. Some people question why spay or neuter pets - one big reason is it helps to ease the pet overpopulation problem. Millions of healthy pets roam the streets and sit in animal shelters or rescue organizations, waiting for homes that never materialize. There are simply far too many pets who need homes, than homes willing to take in a pet.
Spaying is the surgical sterilization of a female animal by removing the ovaries, oviduct, and uterus. Neutering is the surgical sterilization of a male animal by removing the testicles. In both cases, pets are unable to reproduce afterwards. Both surgeries are safe when done by a qualified veterinarian. And not only are they safe, having your pet spayed or neutered also has significant health benefits.
Even so, sometimes people balk at having their pet spayed or neutered. Here are some of the more common spay / neuter myths.
Myth #1: Males don't need to be neutered. Only females need to be spayed because they're the ones who have litters.
FALSE. It takes both a male and a female to produce a litter. In fact, males can father far more young than a female could ever produce in a lifetime.
And what happens if your intact male escapes the house and mates with an intact female? Male and female pets both need to be sterilized.
Myth #2: Children need to witness the miracle of birth.
FALSE. There are other ways of teaching children about birth that do not involve bringing unwanted animals into this world. For example, visits to a farm or a zoo can show them the same thing. Videos and books are also an option.
Myth #3: You can always find homes for puppies and kittens.
FALSE. If this were true, then why are there so many puppies and kittens being euthanized in shelters or out on the street? Even if you are able to find homes for the puppies or kittens in your pet's litter, for every new animal that's brought into this world, there are others waiting to be adopted from humane societies and animal shelters.
Myth #4: Females should be allowed to have one litter.
FALSE. There is no reason for a female to have a litter; she will mature properly without it. It will not improve her health or permanently change her personality.
In fact, spaying your pet before her first heat will significantly reduce her chances of developing breast cancer later in life.
Myth #5: Spaying or neutering my pet will make it fat.
FALSE. Feeding too much for your dog or cat's individual caloric needs will make it fat. Adequate exercise and quality nutrition will help to keep your pet healthy.
Spaying or neutering pets can help to decrease the number of pets waiting for homes, and the number that are euthanized because there simply aren't enough homes. Don't litter - spay or neuter your pets!