Deciding to spay/neuter your companion animal is one of the most important decisions you can make. Many people are reluctant to spay/neuter based on misconceptions about the benefits of the procedure. The following is a list of reasons to spay/neuter your companion animal:
- Increasing the life expectancy of your companion animal. According to a recent 2013 report by USA Today neutered male dogs live on average 18% longer than non-neutered male dogs and spayed female dogs live on average 23% longer than non-spayed female dogs. One reason that spayed/neutered dogs live longer is that they are less prone to develop certain types of cancers of their reproductive organs.
- Reducing the Pet Population. In the United States alone, between 6-8 million animals are up for adoption each year. About half of these dogs and cats are adopted, but sadly the rest never leave the shelter alive. Some of these animals are strays found on the street, but many others are surrendered family pets. Spay/neuter helps reduce the population and is the only 100% effective method of birth control.
- Reducing Bad Behavior. Neuter/spay reduces assertive behavior in males and urine marking in both male and female dogs. For both dogs and cats the longer you wait to spay/neuter, the harder it will be to rid your companion animal of these behaviors as it becomes more ingrained. Spay/neuter also helps ameliorate roaming (especially when females are in heat), aggression, excessive barking, mounting and dominance-related behavior. Studies have shown that more frequently dog bites involve unaltered dogs and that unsterilized dogs have more behavioral problems than dogs who have been spayed/neutered.
- Saving the Community Money. Millions of dollars are spent each year controlling unwanted animals. Animal shelters are loaded with millions of dogs, cats and other animals and cannot afford to care for all the animals they take in.
- Low Cost Spay Neuter Options. If cost is an issue, check with your local humane society or shelter about low cost spay/neuter options in your community.