A Million and One Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

A Million and One Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

I was hanging out with a friend and her dog the other day when I noticed that the dog had not been neutered yet. I knew the dog was fairly young, but also knew that she had him for at least six months. Trying hard not to be entirely overbearing, I politely asked if she was planning on altering him and, if so, why she had not done so yet. It was curious. I have known her for years and she has had several animals, every one of which had been spayed or neutered. "Well", she said, "I feel bad about doing it." I could see that she didn't want to delve into the matter further, but I suspected that she was being influenced by this dog's human daddy. I believe Fido's daddy felt that his pup would become "less of a man" if neutered. At that point, I felt it was simply time to share with my friend the cold, hard facts.

The Humane Society of the United States cites that over 70,000 dogs and cats are born each day in the U.S. alone. In comparison, only 10,000 human babies are born each day. In just a short six year period, an un-spayed dog and her brood can parent over 60,000 pups! In shelters around the country, close to six million animals are killed each year. Six million! An inconceivable number, that averages out to nearly 16,000 pets being euthanized per day.

If these statistics aren't enough to convince people to spay and neuter, there are many other convincing points to keep in mind.

First and foremost, your pet will be healthier if you get him or her altered. Spaying removes the danger of uterine and ovarian cancer, as well as considerably diminishing the likelihood of breast cancer. Neutering your pet guarantees he will steer clear of testicular cancer and prostate problems. Studies have indicated that spayed and neutered pets generally live healthier, happier lives.

Neutering your male pet will guard against him roaming the neighborhood, getting into trouble, fights or, worse, lost to you forever. He will no longer have the desire to spray or mark his territory, saving you a mess and a hassle. It will also help with the incessant humping on everything and everyone around that is the trademark of the un-neutered dog. And as far as their feeling like "less of a man"...well, they AREN'T men and they have no concept of what sexual identity even is, much less whether it has been affected by the removal of their testicles. While we have a tendency to anthropomorphize with our pets, attributing human characteristics whenever possible, the reality is that they do not think in the same terms as humans.

Spaying your female animal will do away with their heat cycle, which is messy and can be difficult in dealing with the continuous whining, crying and pacing, not to mention all the (unfortunately) un-neutered males in the neighborhood vying for her attention. Many people believe that female pets should have the chance to have one litter before being spayed, yet studies clearly indicate that it is better for the health of the animal if they are spayed before their first heat.

In short, altering your pet won't make him or her fat, lazy or unattractive. It does not mean they are no longer able to protect you and your home. And they will definitely not feel like "less of" anything because of it. It will make them more affectionate and easier to take care of as well as train which, in turn, makes them easier to live with. And it will save millions of lives each year!

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