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The Many Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Pet

Spaying and neutering refer to the surgical sterilization of an animal so that it cannot reproduce. With so many homeless pets and not enough homes to go around, spaying or neutering your pets helps to decrease the number of healthy, loving pets who are euthanized. But sterilization isn't just about helping with the pet overpopulation problem; there are .

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Dogs and cats can be spayed or neutered when they're babies, or the procedure can be done any time throughout adulthood as well. Females should be spayed before their first heat. The procedure is routine and recovery is usually unremarkable, with pets recovering quickly. Some of the benefits of spaying and neutering include:

  • Prevents pregnancy and the costs and complications arising from pregnancy and delivery;

  • Eliminates the heat cycle in females - you won't have to listen to the sounds of your female pet in heat, trying to get out and find a mate;

  • Reduces the distracting and destructive behavior associated with the male's efforts to get out and find a mate;

  • Prevents unwelcome males from trying to seek out your female pet in heat;

  • Reduces the urge to roam. This makes it less likely that you will lose your pet, which in turn makes your pet less likely to contract a disease, get in a fight, get injured, or become a victim to cruelty, poison, or traffic;

  • Eliminates sexual discomfort, distress, or distraction ... making your pet calmer and more content;

  • Reduces or eliminates the possibility of disease in the reproductive system in females, and eliminates testicular tumors and reduces prostate gland problems in males;

  • In cats, neutering stops or reduces marking behavior (territorial spraying of urine);

  • Reduces the urge to fight;

  • Many municipalities offer reduced licensing fees for spayed or neutered pets.

Helping to reduce the number of homeless pets is a great reason to spay or neuter... but there are so many other benefits of spaying and neutering your pet, too. Contact your local humane society, SPCA, or vet clinic if you need assistance with spay / neuter costs; some organizations offer low-cost clinics for pet owners who need a little help.