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Spaying or Neutering Your Pet? Don’t Fall For These Common Myths

Spaying or Neutering Your Pet? Don’t Fall For These Common Myths

Many U.S. households include  at least one pet, and as a pet parent it’s your responsibility to help keep your furry friend healthy. Some people believe that spaying and neutering doesn’t affect their pet’s health, but that’s not the case. Other common myths about spaying and neutering include:.

Myth #1: All veterinary clinics will spay or neuter my pet in the same way

Even though cats and dogs can get pregnant starting as early as 5 months old, you can’t just walk into any clinic and expect them to be able to perform a spay or neuter. This procedure should only be performed at a clinic that is fully equipped for surgery, so take your time to find  a veterinary office or hospital that has the capabilities—and experience—to safely care for your pet. Additionally, some low-cost places may do a spay or neuter for extra cheap, but that discounted price  might  not include blood work or additional medication to help make your pet more comfortable. Ask for a full rundown or documentation of what you will pay based on the services provided. A quality office will also update their initial estimate with specifics based on your pet’s exact situation. It is definitely worth paying a little extra for the safety of your beloved pet.

Myth #2: Spaying or neutering won’t change my pet’s demeanor or personality

Both kittens and puppies can be spayed or neutered when they reach 6 months old, and the procedure may actually change their behavior—but not for the worse. Most of the time, spaying or neutering will make your pet calmer and more affectionate. Females will no longer have heat cycles—which can last up to 3 weeks—during their breeding season. Males who may begin to exhibit more aggressive tendencies as they age or begin marking their territory also typically become calmer and less territorial after neutering.

Myth #3: The procedure is traumatizing for pets

Spaying and neutering are both low-risk procedures, and neither has any known negative psychological effects on cats or dogs. Most veterinarians  agree that it’s in your pet’s best interest. Not only does it prevent unwanted litters, but it can also help reduce the risk of certain kinds of cancer and infections.

Specifically with cats who go outside, you won’t need to worry about contributing to overpopulation in your neighborhood. Countless stray cats suffer on the streets or are euthanized as a result of overpopulation. 

Myth #4: The procedure is expensive

This is another common misconception. In most cases, spaying and neutering is affordable for many pet parents, unless your pet needs special treatment due to other conditions. Spaying or neutering is important to the overall health of your pet and they are fairly routine procedures for veterinarians, so the majority of vet practices aim to make the procedure as affordable as possible. That being said, if you’re on a strict budget and are worried about having trouble financing the procedure, don’t panic. You may be able to find payment plans or affordable care options by working directly with your vet’s office. It may even be covered by your pet insurance. The bottom line: don’t let perceived costs deter you from making the right decision for your pet’s health.

Myth #5: My pet stays indoors, so they don’t need to be spayed/neutered

This major misconception can actually cause health issues for pets. Getting your pet spayed or neutered doesn’t just prevent accidental litters, spaying and neutering present a multitude of health benefits for your pet.

Spayed female cats have a lower risk of mammary cancer, uterine cancer and infections. In male cats, neutering effectively eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and prevents spraying behaviors that can cause problems in the household.

Female dogs who are not spayed are also at risk for mammary or uterine cancer, while intact male dogs can get testicular or prostate cancer. These risks are reduced or eliminated as soon as your dog is altered.

Furthermore, aggression issues that lead to fights and injuries are not limited to outdoor pets. If you have more than one male pet living in the same household, there can be an increased risk of physical injury for all involved even with only one unaltered animal present. Spaying and neutering can help ease these aggressive behaviors and ultimately protect your pets from serious physical harm.

Understanding the facts about spaying and neutering can help you make the most informed decision for your pet’s health. For more information about spaying, neutering or any other procedures for your pet, please book an appointment with one of our veterinarians today.