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What are the benefits and disadvantages of sterilizing your pet?
Spaying and neutering are great things to do if you do not want your pet to have any offspring (or cannot afford or take care of additional mouths.) Besides this it will greatly reduce the risk of reproductive cancers, especially in animals under two years of age. Some vets like fixing kittens and puppies at 6-8 weeks of age so that the never go through the hormonal challenges of puberty - this can be good for cats (so they don't develop a habit of spraying) and dog breeds that are known to have dominance issues. If you have a pet that is not perfect - perhaps with a health issue or a defect, then you are doing the breed a good service by not allowing it to pass on these vulnerabilities to the next generation.
The downside of spaying and neutering? Well with any surgery there is always the small risk of death or infection, which is higher in small animals like rabbits and ferrets than it is in dogs and cats. It's very rare but they can have a bad reaction to anesthesia or have other complications. You will also never be able to breed that animal, which I know can be downside to many people who like to keep a puppy or kitten to remind them of its parent, especially as that parent gets older. The last thing is that altering your pet will cost money but there are great clinics out there these days that often do reduced rates so that people can get their pets fixed and prevent feral populations. Besides this the cost of surgery will be less than the cost of taking care of a litter of kittens or puppies!
This is mainly for cats. Advantages, they will not reproduce. No more little kittens. The male cats will not spray so your house will smell good. The female cats will not go into heat and try to have intercourse with the other cats. Disadvantages, if they are let into the wild, they cannot fend for themselves as well as they could.
There are many obvious reason to spay and neuter your pets. One is - and this is hard to realize but important to know - there just aren't enough homes in the US for the number of dogs we have. So if you choose to let your dog get pregnant - and even if it's an accident, you chose it by not spaying and neutering - for each of the pups you have in your litter that you find homes for, you have killed a pup in the shelter. People HATE it when I say that because they know it's true. It's just how the numbers, unfortunately, fall. Know that and imagine it if you choose to breed.
IMO, every dog (and cat) that isn't proven show quality (ie in the show ring, in the performance ring, out in the field, etc.) should be spayed and neutered. Period. It takes YEARS of research to become a good breeder. For instance, how many of you know that if you breed a merle-colored dog with another merle-colored dog that you will get blind and deaf puppies that will either need to be killed or have very difficult lives? All because you didn't know one very, very simple and "duh" fact about breeding. Breeding and controlling genes is filled with such pitfalls. Does your dog carry a mutant gene that is sleeping? How do you know? By knowing the health history of EVERY ancestor of your dog back several generations (8 is best).
From an agility/canine sports perspective though, neutering too early can cause real issues structure wise for any dog potentially headed for an active canine sport. Studies show that dogs neutered before the bones have quit growing have different bones growing at a different rate. Therefore, a dog neutered early will grow slightly out of wack due to the changes in hormones. I, personally, do not neuter my dogs before they are 12 to 18 months old because my dogs are agility prospects. However, I also am EXTREMELY careful that these intact boys NEVER (and I mean never) escape their yard to go visit a female in heat. When my dogs are done growing, they are neutered. Even though my dogs are exceedingly good agility dogs (one is an agility champion five times over and the other has qualified to try out this year to represent the US at the Agility Worlds) I do not believe in breeding them and killing other dogs in the shelter.
Really quickly as I'm running out of room, spaying and neutering also decreases dramatically the incidence of many types of cancer - including mammary and testicular. It can save your dog's life.
There are a lot of advantages in sterilizing your pet but the main advantage I see is that when the animals are sterilized, there will be no offsprings. As it is right now, too many animals are abandoned or abused. When people don't respect animals, they almost treat them as object. That's why so many people abandoned their animal when they go on holidays....they get rid of one and will eventually adopt another one when they come back.
At our place, our cats are part of the family. And after a long full life and they have to leave, it makes me really sad. Animals can show so much love and faith; it's just too sad to abuse that.
by Whitney9 years ago
I just had a comment saying that spaying and neutering should be illegal because they are more complicated procedures than cropping and docking a dog's tail.Do you agree or disagree? I thought that it would be...
by Myn Is Me6 years ago
Why should you get your pets neutered?
by K Kiss5 years ago
Are you open to the idea of spaying or neutering your pet cat?My cats are the heart of me and I could never do it to my own cats.
by Susan May Gudge2 years ago
Hi Hubbers,I'd like some help with passing the Quality Assessment Process. Will you please give feedback on my Hub Does Spaying or Neutering Cats and Dogs Make Them Fat?. What can I do to improve? Thanks!I see no reason...
by Becki Rizzuti7 years ago
Please reassure me that neutering my cats isn't going to make them become fearful and skittish. Our oldest male took a turn after neutering. Tell me about the process.
by mirra5 years ago
The hubby and I can't decide whether we should neuter our puppy. I have read both pros and cons of neutering online and it seems there are complications to both such as neutering too early can cause development issues...
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