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P.A.W.S. Pet Hospital

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Why Do We Have Our Pets Spayed or Neutered?


Spays or neuters tend to be the most common procedures performed on our pets.  Why and when to have these procedures performed varies depending upon your pet and what they do and your lifestyle.  Spaying is performed on female cats and dogs, whereas neutering is performed on males. Most pets are spayed or neutered if they are not going to be used for breeding or showing.

The primary reason for spaying or neutering is simply maintaining the pet’s health.  Females tend to have more opportunity for breast cancer to occur after they have gone through a heat cycle.  Males, when left intact, tend to have a greater occurrence of prostate problems and urination issues.

In addition to your pet’s health, there are also behavioral considerations regarding the decision to spay or neuter.  Female cats are induced ovulators and do not go out of heat until they are bred.  They tend to have extreme behavior changes, ranging from being extremely affectionate to a bit moody, and are often very vocal.  Intact male cats have more incidences of inappropriate urination issues, marking walls and furniture with very strong urine odor.  Male dogs will tend to do some of this as well, making potty training a challenge.

There are several considerations to be made regarding the best time to perform these procedures on your pet.  If you have a young female dog which is having urinary tract issues, she may benefit from going through a heat cycle to help with their maturity.  Some male dogs, especially larger working breeds, should wait until they are over a year old to help ensure proper bone development.  The staff at P.A.W.S. Pet Hospital is ready to discuss these considerations with you and to help you make an informed decision regarding what fits best for you and your pet.