There are many widely held beliefs surrounding neutering or spaying your pets. This article based on Spay Aware’s website, www.spayaware.ie, deals with these in an effort to dispel the myth.
The Myth: “Shouldn’t A Female Pet Have One Litter First?”
The fact is allowing a female dog or cat to produce a litter does not have any benefits. There are in fact health risks to the mother during the pregnancy and when giving birth.
It can also be difficult to find homes for puppies & kittens. If you do manage to find homes for your pet’s offspring, you are taking a home from an unwanted animal in a shelter or pound. Irish local authorities destroy over 25,000 unwanted dogs annually.
The Myth: Spaying and Neutering are not “natural.”
Humans domesticated animals and brought them into our lives and homes. This environment our pets live in is very different from their natural one. We have made them dependent on us, meaning we are responsible for their well-being, the same as for any other family member. It is far more natural to spay or neuter a pet than to get rid of unwanted litters in dumpsters, drowning or destruction in pounds.
The Myth: “I want my children to ‘experience the miracle of birth.’
This isn’t a good reason to allow your pet to procreate as animals usually give birth in a secluded place and wouldn’t it be far better to teach your children the importance of responsible pet ownership? This is also contributing to the problem of overpopulation. Animal shelters and pounds will tell you first hand the huge problem they face on a daily basis.
The Myth: “My pet will become fat and lazy once he or she is sterilized.”
The fact is that pets become fat and lazy as a result of overeating and a lack of exercise, not from spaying or neutering. Your pet will actually lead a healthier and happier life after being spayed or neutered. Spaying a female eliminates the possibility of her developing uterine and/or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the chance of breast cancer if done at a young age. Neutering a male reduces the incidence of prostate enlargement and prostate cancer.
The Myth: “It will change my pet’s personality.”
The fact is that spaying or neutering generally does not change a pet’s personality. For a female, there is virtually no change at all. For males, it usually results in a diminishing of some aggressive behaviour. Spayed or neutered pets are free from sexual anxiety and are calmer and more content at home as a result. You also have the peace of mind that they are not adding to the overpopulation problem. If you have more than one pet, you will find that they get along much better if they are all spayed or neutered.