More often than not when we adopt our forever friend from an animal shelter they are already neutered/spayed which means that the decision of “should we” or “shouldn’t we” is taken away from us. However, you might be in the situation where you are waiting for a new kitten or puppy to join your family and debating with your spouse about whether or not you should have them de-sexed. It’s understandable that everyone has a different opinion on this but let’s have a look at the facts.
1. Neutering will eliminate your male dog or cat spraying urine to mark their territory.
2. Neutering eliminates aggressive behaviour in both male cats and dogs which is driven by hormones.
3. The hormonal urge to find a mate will stop which means that your pet will happily stay indoors.
4. Neutering stops the sexual frustration your male pet experiences whilst still intact.
5. Neutering should reduce that unsociable, embarrassing mounting behaviour when guests visit.
6. Neutering eliminates the possibility of testicular cancer in male dogs and reduces the risk of developing a prostate disease later in life.
7. According to Austad and Hoffman “spayed and neutered pets live longer, healthier, happier lives because they have fewer behavioural issues and they are less susceptible to infection, degenerative diseases and traumatic/violent causes of death”.
8. Spaying reduces the risk of uterine infections and breast cancer which can be fatal in 50% of female dogs and 90% of cats.
9. Neutering and spaying prevent unwanted pregnancies which can ultimately result in more animals on the street or in animal shelters.
10. Spayed female cats will not go into heat which means that you won't have to suffer the yowling that comes from searching for a mate. It will also eliminate urination around the house.
11. Neutering/spaying is cheaper than having to raise a litter of kittens or puppies.
There are many myths associated with neutering/spaying such as the concern about your pet becoming fat. This is not true and it is too much food and the lack of exercise which causes obesity in cats and dogs. Pet owners also worry that the procedure will hurt but when carried out by a registered vet it is relatively painless for your pet. Another concern raised by dog owners is that their dog will no longer guard their home. Once again this is not true because a dog will still be protective of its territory and the people in it.
Based on the many facts surrounding neutering/spaying, it becomes clear that the benefits outweigh any disadvantages associated with this procedure. Obviously, it is a personal choice but it makes sense to understand the long term effects for both you and your pet(s) by choosing not to neuter/spay.