In a previous article, I argued that spay neuter is our best weapon against pet overpopulation, unwanted puppies, neglected and abandoned dogs, and the alarmingly high shelter kill-rate. Puppies are cute and cuddly, but that doesn’t outweigh all of the preventable pain and suffering that come with unwanted pregnancies. There’s another excellent reason to spay or neuter your dog: your dog’s health. Spay-neuter also happens to be a preventative procedure that can help keep your dog healthy and safe.
Not only is National Pit Bull Awareness and Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, it is also National Pet Wellness Month; the perfect time to talk about the health benefits of altering your pet.
The Benefits of Spay Neuter
Female dogs and cats:
- Spaying protects female dogs and cats against life-threatening uterine infections and breast cancer. Breast cancer is fatal in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats.
- You will avoid all the stress of caring for a pet in heat and your dog or cat will also be much happier. Imagine not having a your poor cat yowling for days on end during breeding season. And just think, no more male dogs hounding your poor female and stalking your house.
Male dogs and cats:
- Neutering will prevent testicular cancer.
- Your neutered pet will also be less inclined to roam and get hit by a car or otherwise injured. An intact dog will dig, climb over fences and eat through barriers, especially if there’s female in heat within three miles. Yes, that’s how far a dog can detect a female in heat! For cats it’s about one mile.
- Both cats and dogs are less likely to display less dominant behavior with other males. Cats won’t stay out all night fighting and getting horribly injured. As for your dog, nothing replaces good socialization, but neutering does tend to lower tensions among adult males.
- Neutering is not a magic remedy, but marking is less likely in altered animals unless there are other stressors present. Both cats and dogs might start marking in the home if they feel pressured by the presence of too many other pets or feel the need to defend their territory.
In both cases, spayed and neutered animals will tend to refocus their energy on their humans and fellow house pets. They’ll stay closer to home and be less distracted by outside temptations.
It is a myth that spay-neuter causes weight-gain. Your pet will not get fat because they’ve been altered. Like any animal, their weight will depend on diet and activity levels.
Finally, spay-neuter is much more cost effective than raising litters of kittens and puppies.
Rescue Ranch Alter Assistance Program (RRAAP) For Dogs
Through its community dog spay neuter program, RRAAP, Rescue Ranch obtains reasonably priced appointments and offers free transportation to and from the vet. In addition, when possible, we work with community members who are struggling financially.
To spay or neuter your dog call RRAAP: 530-859-0139