Be A Responsible Pet Owner – Spay or Neuter Your Pet
There’s a lot to do for first-time pet parents. From figuring out the best kind of food to feed your animal to ensure they’re up to speed on their vaccinations, it can be overwhelming to make sure you’re taking every step to keep your pet happy and healthy.
An important part of this process is visiting your local veterinarian or animal clinic to have your fur-baby spayed or neutered, and our friends at PetLife Animal Hospital in West Palm Beach are here to walk you through everything you need to know.
Spay OR Neuter
The difference between spay and neuter comes down to the gender of the animal. Both terms refer to the surgical sterilization of an animal. Spaying involves removing the uterus and ovaries of a female animal, and neutering removes the testicles of a male animal. This procedure ensures your animal won’t reproduce, helps reduce pet overpopulation, protects your pet from certain hormone-related health problems, and curbs some unwanted behaviors. There are many reasons to Spay or Neuter your Pet, and The Noble Paw highly suggests all pets are spayed or neutered prior to them becoming sexually mature.
Why should I spay or neuter my pet?
Spaying or neutering your pet benefits both your animal and your community.
According to the ASPCA, animals who have been spayed or neutered are typically:
- less aggressive since their instinct to mate has been eliminated.
- Many unwanted behaviors such as fighting, trying to wander away, spraying, humping, and crying will go away after surgery, and most pets become even more affectionate to their owners.
- prevents breast cancer and eliminates both uterine infections and cancer
(Un-spayed females often get an infection called Pyometra, which is a massive infection of their female organs, and if not caught early can cause death, this infection always requires emergency surgery to remove the infected organs and return the pet to health)
- neutering reduces the chance of testicular cancer and prostate problems.
Everyone loves cute and cuddly puppies and kittens. Why wouldn’t the world want more? The reality is there are only so many people who want to have a pet, it is not that easy to find loving homes for every pet if you are not used to doing so. By spaying or neutering your pet, you are helping to reduce overpopulation in shelters, and giving other animals a chance to find their forever homes.
Many families think it would be “fun” to allow their pet to breed, and to “experience” having puppies at home, however, responsible breeding, that is safe, ethical, and improves the breed (which is really the only good reason to breed) needs years of experience, the knowledge and know-how to do it safely and the right way.
Few novice pet owners are prepared to handle all that can occur while breeding an animal. The sheer cost can be prohibitive, sometimes the need for C-section could cost you the life of the pet you love, and most families do not have waiting families wanting the puppies or kittens born to such breeding, nor are they prepared to qualify those homes for their appropriateness for that baby.
When should I spay or neuter my animal?
To decide an accurate time to spay or neuter your pet, you should reach out to your veterinarian to determine this for your animal. According to the ASPCA, puppies are typically spayed or neutered between six and nine months. Prior to the first heat cycle for females, and prior to reaching sexual maturity. The surgery can be done as young as 8-12 weeks of age if your veterinarian decides they are healthy and can tolerate the procedure well. Cats are usually spayed or neutered any time between eight weeks and five months of age.
What is the cost to spay or neuter my dog or cat?
There are many facilities, not-for-profit animal hospitals that offer low-cost spay and neuter services for your dog or cat. However, they DO NOT offer the same exact process, they do not use the same protocols, the same medications, etc., and you must know and understand the difference, to make an educated decision whether to use their services or not.
The reality is, there is no way to offer the gold standard of care, for less price than a typical private practice Veterinarian offers, so what is the difference? This is a hugely important question to ask. The cost depends on what type of animal you have, their size, and gender, and a complete spay or neuter price breakdown can be requested from most Veterinarians. PetLife in West Palm Beach offers a special discounted rate for Spay or Neuter services for The Noble Paw clients without altering the quality of care.
**If you plan to use the services of a not-for-profit hospital, or shelter, ask what the protocols are, ask about their pre-anesthetic sedation protocol, ask if your pet will have an individual nurse assigned to monitor him/her and vitals, as they wake from anesthesia. Ask what type of anesthesia they use (you do not want your animal to simply have anesthetic gas, but to be presedated, gently, and awakened gently) Ask how many surgeries they have scheduled on the day your pet will be under anesthesia. The differences in surgical protocols can determine if a pet survives the procedure.
Ask if your surgeon plans on taking pre-anesthetic blood work to check the vital organs and if they appear healthy enough to tolerate anesthesia well, etc. Talk to your veterinarian for an accurate price reflecting exactly what your pet will need, ask questions.
Spay or neuter is just one aspect of responsible pet ownership. Feeding a nutritious diet is another. Go read this article now to find the best food advice we could find.