Nothing is more adorable than a litter of fluffy puppies or kittens gamboling around your feet. You may want to let your pet experience the delight of giving birth, but your furry female pal is much better off without that experience. Male pets also are happier and healthier without the influence of their hormones and reproductive organs. Following are nine ways spaying or neutering benefits your pet. 

#1: Spaying and neutering prevents accidental litters

Puppies and kittens are cute, but they are hard work, and they can seriously disrupt your household. If you have two intact pets at home, there is an excellent chance that you will end up with puppies or kittens, as animals are extremely determined to mate when a female is in heat. By spaying and neutering all your pets, you will avoid accidental litters, whether your pets tangle at home, or one slips out the door to find a mate. 

#2: Neutering protects your male pet from prostate cancer

Male pets can develop prostate and testicular infections, abscesses, and cancer. Neutering your male pet will remove the possibility of prostate and testicular disease. 

#3: Spaying and neutering helps prevent pets’ urine marking and spraying

Males and females—particularly males—are known to spray or mark their territory with urine, and no one wants that rank odor permeating your home. Females are likely to urinate excessively when they come into heat, indicating they are ready for breeding. 

#4: Spaying helps protect your female pet from mammary cancer

Spaying your female pet before her first heat cycle drastically cuts down her risk of developing mammary, or breast, cancer, which is fatal in 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. 

#5: Uterine infections are costly to treat and can be life-threatening

A female cat or dog often develops a uterine infection after a heat cycle passes and she has not been bred. This infection, also known as a pyometra, can quickly become fatal without prompt treatment, but spaying your pet to remove the source of infection prevents this serious condition. 

#6: Neutering curbs your male pet’s urge to find a mate

If you’ve been around a male pet who can sniff out a female pet behind a locked door, you know how persistent intact boys can be. Male cats and dogs who are not neutered will stop at nothing to find the mate they’re smelling, which can lead to fights between males, household upheaval, or a car accident if your pet slips out the door. 

#7: Spaying prevents your female pet from going into heat

While females in heat drive males crazy, they likely will also drive you crazy, but in a different way. Female cats in particular are especially vocal when in heat, and can develop irritating behaviors that annoy their owners—not to mention the caterwauling of tomcats outside your bedroom window, desperate to find their mate. 

#8: Spaying and neutering helps battle pet overpopulation

According to the ASPCA, six and a half million pets end up in animal shelters each year, with approximately one and a half million of them euthanized. While some of these pets are euthanized for behavioral reasons or illness, many are euthanized because of simple overcrowding and a lack of shelter resources. Avoid contributing to the overpopulation problem by spaying or neutering your pet. 

#9: More services are available for your pet after sterilization

This fact is not well-known, but there are often limitations and increased fees for services for pets who are not spayed or neutered. Training classes, and daycare or play groups, may not accept your intact pet, as she will be a distraction, or may instigate conflicts. Boarding facilities may charge higher fees to board intact pets. Avoid limiting your pet’s life experiences by ensuring you schedule a spay or neuter surgery. 

Are you unsure of the best age to spay or neuter your pet? Schedule an appointment, so we can discuss all the benefits of spaying and neutering, and the best time to sterilize your furry pal based on her size, breed, and age.