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Spaying and Neutering of Pets

Updated November 26, 2021
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Spaying and Neutering of Pets essay

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As one of the top priorities for pet owners is their pet’s health, sterilizing them has many benefits that could save them both money and health issues in the future. There are benefits for both male and female pets. Mammary cancer (breast cancer) is commonly found in female cats and dogs who have not been spayed. During a heat cycle, the female pet’s estrogen levels will rise and the more hormones in her system, the more there is a risk of mammary tumors forming. Animal Health Foundation states, “A dog spayed before her first heat will have a near zero chance of developing mammary cancer later in life. After the first heat, this incidence climbs to 7 percent, and after the second heat the risk approaches 25 percent.

Statistics are similar in cats.” Mammary cancer can be very painful for pets, and sometimes fatal. Not only will spaying retain their health, but it will also save owners in the many medical bills needed to treat these issues. Other female pet related health issues that result from not getting spayed include pyometra, uterine and ovarian cancer, UTIs, and more. “Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases,” the ASPCA reports.

Therefore, spaying a female pet in the initial stages of her life will be a key step in preventing medical issues. For male dogs and cats, neutering has tremendous benefits to the health of their prostate. This includes preventing Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, infections, cysts, and cancer. After a male cat or dog goes through puberty, they start to develop testosterone. If they are neutered before puberty, the prostate gland does not develop due to the lack of testosterone in their body. This almost completely decreases the chances of having prostate related issues. When a male pet is not neutered before puberty, the testosterone will gradually enlarge the pet’s prostate over time (otherwise known as BPH).

“This is an extremely painful and sometime life-threatening condition which is not likely to resolve without neutering and often invasive surgery.” reports the Animal Health Foundation. Research also shows that the stigma against pets gaining weight from spaying and neutering procedures is a complete myth. The factors that go into pet weight-gain include overeating, lack of exercise, and breed DNA. Spaying and neutering are completely unrelated to adding on pounds. For both pets that have a home and are homeless, the healthier life option is to get spayed or neutered.

“Altered animals are less likely to contract deadly, contagious diseases, such as feline AIDS and feline leukemia, that are spread through bodily fluids,” says PETA. There are also alternative options of spaying and neutering that will sterilize pets, including a hysterectomy, a vasectomy, an ovariectomy, and other non-surgical alternatives. When it comes to caring for household companion pets, the number one responsibility is their health. Spaying and neutering contribute to the longevity of healthiness in cats and dogs and eases owners’ minds by decreasing related medical risks.

Over time, the cost of spaying and neutering procedures has become incredibly affordable and can save a pet’s lifetime in medical bills and length. Due to the demand for it, medical experts have been able to master the procedure while lowering prices and healing time for pets. The ASPCA states, “The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray.” Caring for litters of cats and dogs, animal fights, reproductive health issues, female cycles, and many infections are all examples on how medically, not spaying or neutering pets can be more costly than getting the one-time procedure done.

Many veterinarian offices will also include bundled packages for the same price or a small fee extra. While getting your pet spayed or neutered, the veterinarian may also be able to offer vaccinations, microchipping, heartworm testing and medication, flea and tick prevention, and other routine clinical tests. Most states understand that families cannot simply afford the procedure and that it contributes to the overpopulation or pets in shelters. These states have set up programs that help low-income families afford to get their pets spayed and neutered at a low price or even free. This means that a simple surgery that could save the lives of many cats and dogs from homelessness and lead them to live healthier, is also affordable and easy to access for owners.

The recovery time is also much less than the years of suffering through diseases that are preventable by spaying and neutering. While it varies by each individual pet, most pets can go home the same day. There may be some discomfort for around 7 days for many pets, while others may not feel pain at all. In some cases, vets will describe pain medication and may also provide a cone to prevent from licking the small incision area. What this shows is that the probability of discomfort for days after being spayed or neutered is much more worth the months of pain related to health issues brought on by not having the procedure done at all.

Specific behaviors of a pet may reflect on their living conditions and being spayed or neutered has a massive impact on those behaviors. Each pet lives their life differently and a huge part of their lives are the environment in which they are placed. Some owners may train their pets for hunting and have them primarily outside. Other owners may keep them on their lap and take them to every store they go. Unfortunately, many cats and dogs do not have owners and will permanently live on the streets.

No matter the lifestyle lived, being spayed and neutered has direct relation to the behaviors exhibited in each situation. Pets that are already outside living on the street will have easy access to each other with the added the risk of pregnancy, infectious diseases, vehicle accidents, and fights as they search to breed. The lesser the population of cats and dogs, the more they are safely placed in homes and have decreased breeding behaviors. Being spayed or neutered will cut down overpopulation and the need to be outside the home finding a mate. This means that states with higher spay and neuter rates also have the longest pet lifespans. In warmer states, unsterilized pets spend more time outside and show more aggressive behaviors when trying to breed.

This can have negative impacts to health and life rather than being sterilized and not feeling the need to wander. For colder states, unsterilized pets spend most of their time indoors. This creates a small space where the access to each other is extremely great. Owners that keep un-spayed and un-neutered pets together have the responsibility of keeping them separated every heat cycle and may not have the means to do so. There is more a chance of pregnancy or fights that could be harmful to them. Being inside during a cycle also creates the behaviors of bleeding on furniture/carpets, marking territory excessively, and barking nonstop to reach each other.

Together cats and dogs have the longest lives in Montana and Colorado while having the shortest lifespan in Delaware and Louisiana. USA Today reports, “Nearly 20% of the cats in Louisiana and Mississippi aren’t spayed or neutered but in Montana and Colorado, the states with the longest lifespan, that number is closer to 8%. Neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered male dogs and spayed female dogs live 23% longer than un-spayed female dogs… In Mississippi, the state ranking lowest for pet longevity, 44% of the dogs are not neutered or spayed…” These statistics directly reflect that being spayed and neutered, in any specific lifestyle and environment, has an impact on the lifespan of both cats and dogs.

As unsterilized cats and dogs go through the releasing of their hormones, they are subject to multiple behavioral effects. For male cats and dogs, when they sense a female in heat their primary mission is to reach her and breed. They will do whatever it takes to reach and impregnant her, otherwise known as “roaming.” The need to roam is not only dangerous for the individual pet but can cause harm to other pets as well as cause stress to their owners. Canine Journal states, “Male pets will go to great lengths to get to a female that is in heat; this includes behavior such as tunneling under fences and leaping over gates. The scent of a female in heat can carry for considerable distances making it extremely difficult to contain a male pet that smells a female in heat.”

While roaming, a male pet may fight with other males for dominance, hurt a female pet, encounter wild animals, get hit by a car, or attract a disease such as heartworm. When a male dog is neutered, he does not have the same built up testosterone levels and will not feel the need to roam. Therefore, the environment around him is not as much of a hazard. A female in heat can also attract roaming dogs to her home, in which they will do whatever it takes to break IN and breed with her. This is dangerous for both pets and any members of the household. Male pets can also become extremely dominant while still intact due to their high testosterone levels. These built up hormones create an environment where the pets feel the need to be in charge. He wants to be the one to breed the female and will do what it takes, including fighting other males, to be the “top-dog.”

If un-monitored, dog fights can and will happen, with a serious risk of both male pets getting hurt. Female pets in heat can also be aggressive. They will protect certain objects as their “babies” and if any other pet or person gets close, she may show a dominant stance. Any dominance in the home can be a hazard, especially with other pets or young children who may not understand what is happening around them. This shows that having a female pet spayed will eliminate these risks. Many owners may not realize the responsibility of caring for a female pet during her heat cycle. Her cycle can last anywhere from 2-4 weeks long and happen multiple times a year.

Educating the household members is an important responsibility of pet ownership but spaying the female pet will also decrease tremendous amounts of her stress. There are many videos and books dedicated to educating the public on the importance of spaying and neutering. Both cats and dogs that are unsterilized will have built of hormones raging inside of them. If they are confined to small spaces within the home, they will release this energy in a way they know how. Not only will a male mark urine around the home, but both males and female can be destructive.

Toys, shoes, carpets, their own paws; each are examples of what may be chewed or destroyed to release these hormones. As an owner, this is a nuisance that can not only be costly but can harm the pet as well. Spaying and neutering before the first heat cycle will ensure these behaviors never develop due to hormones. “Many experts say that once a pet is older than 1 year of age and still intact, undesirable behaviors are more likely to become permanent even if they are neutered at that time,” states the Animal Health Foundation. The older a pet gets without being sterilized, the more permanent their behaviors will be.

Research shows that pet owners should spay and neuter their cats and dogs because it reduces pet homelessness, decreases the risk of cancers and other diseases, and curbs bad behavior. The overpopulation of cats and dogs in an alarmingly issue that continues to effect cities today. By spaying and neutering all household pets and pets in shelters, these numbers will start to decrease. This will save money of cities and pet owners, pet health issues, shelter resources, and the lives of millions of pets. Having cats and dogs sterilized will save them many health-related problems, including multiple types of cancers.

Spayed and neutered pets are far less likely to be diagnosed with cancer due to the lack of estrogen and testosterone that would otherwise be built up in their bodies over time. Pet health is a crucial factor in the responsibility of owning them and it is on their owners to make sure they are always healthy and happy. Being spayed and neutered is the first step owners can take to give them a healthy life. There are psychologically and physically many behaviors that unsterilized cats and dogs develop due to the hormones in their system.

Breeding, roaming, howling, being destructive and aggressive and more are all examples of behavior that could be caused by hormones. By getting the procedure early in their lives, these behaviors are not learned therefore are almost always eliminated. It is no question that there is a large amount of evidence on why household pets should be spayed and neutered. There are individual, household, community, and statewide benefits to getting all cats and dogs sterilized. By normalizing and expanding the procedure of spaying and neutering, many cats’ and dogs’ lives would be considerably improved.

Spaying and Neutering of Pets essay

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Spaying and Neutering of Pets. (2021, Nov 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/spaying-and-neutering-of-pets/

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