One of the most responsible things you can do as a dog owner is to spay or neuter your dog. Doing so has both health and behavioral benefits for the dog, and many ownership benefits for you. It also helps the community – you are doing your part to combat pet overpopulation problems as well as increase public safety.

Why you should spay or neuter your pet(s)

  • Spayed/neutered pets are less likely to develop reproductive cancers
  • Spayed/neutered pets live longer – one to three years on average
  • Spayed/neutered pets are less likely to roam in search of a mate and therefore are at less risk of escaping from your property (where they could be hit by a car, shot, stolen, or taken to a shelter)
  • Spayed/neutered pets are less likely to develop aggressive behaviors due to raging hormones
  • Spayed/neutered pets are more bonded to their owner, more attentive, and more affectionate
  • Spayed females do not go into heat and therefore you do not have the annoying behaviors (crying, pacing, attracting unwanted males) that go hand in hand
  • Neutered males are less likely to spray/mark inappropriate objects
  • Spayed/neutered pets are less likely to fight with other animals.
  • A spayed/neutered pet will not contribute to the severe pet overpopulation problem by producing offspring, even accidentally.

A study by dog attack researcher Karen Delise also showed that intact (un-neutered) male dogs are overwhelmingly more likely to be involved in a fatal attack on a person than neutered dogs.

If these benefits aren’t reason enough, remember that spaying/neutering—a relatively quick, inexpensive surgery – has the potential to save you a bundle of money in the long run. Imagine how expensive it is to have a litter of puppies, or treat reproductive cancer, or pay the vet when your dog gets hit by a car while roaming, or deal with a lawsuit when your unneutered male dog bites someone, etc.

There is simply no good reason not to spay or neuter your pet(s).

When and how to spay or neuter your pet

You should talk to your vet about the best time to spay/neuter your pet. Many vets prefer to wait until six months of age, although some vets, and most shelters, will spay/neuter as early as two months. There is really no such thing as “too late”.

You can have your pet spayed or neutered at your regular vet. There are also many low cost or free spay/neuter clinics available if money is an issue for you. To find a low-cost spay/neuter clinic, ask your local shelter or humane society. Or, call SpayUSA, a referral service, toll-free at 1-800-248-SPAY to find out about the low-cost options near you.

Some places even offer free spay/neuter services to owners of pit bulls and pit mixes.

Resources for More Information

Pets911 – Important Spay and Neuter Information
AVMA – What You Should Know About Spaying and Neutering

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