As a pet parent, you’ve probably heard about the importance of spaying or neutering your pets to avoid unwanted pregnancies and reduce the number of dogs and cats without good homes. The ASPCA® estimates around 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide each year, and about 3 million to 4 million are euthanized. Spaying or neutering also offers health and behavioral benefits for your pet that may surprise you.
Check your spaying and neutering smarts with this true or false quiz. Ask your veterinarian for advice about your pet.
1. Spaying or neutering is risky and painful.
False: Like any surgery, spaying or neutering can have complications, but it’s a routine procedure and the risks are relatively low for healthy pets. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, so there shouldn’t be any pain during the operation. Your veterinarian can tell you more about the procedure and give you specific instructions for post-surgery care.
2. It can help prevent cancer.
True: Spaying a female pet prevents ovarian and uterine cancer and reduces the risk of breast cancer. Neutering will keep a male from getting testicular cancer and decrease his risks of developing prostate cancer. Spaying or neutering can also help your pet’s health in other ways by reducing the urge to roam and fight with animals that could pass on contagious diseases.
3. Spaying or neutering is expensive.
False: Spaying or neutering doesn’t have to be costly, and the significant health and behavior benefits can outweigh the expense. Plus, it’s an important step in reducing pet overpopulation and homelessness. Both Level 3 and Level 4 cover spay or neuter surgery. The ASPCA has a searchable database that can help you locate a low-cost spay/neuter program in your community.
Stay tuned for more spaying and neutering truths and myths over the next few days!