February is Spay and Neuter Awareness Month, a campaign made to inform pet owners about the benefits of preventing your pets from going into heat. If this is your first time being a pet parent, it might be a good time to learn about spaying and neutering.
A brief history of the spay and neuter practice
This practice emerged as an alternative to euthanasia in order to curb the pet population. The first known low-cost spay and neuter clinic started in Los Angeles in 1969, and advocated sterilization. The movement gained ground over time, and in 1972, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals required all adopted animals to be sterilized. Today, this practice has become more widespread, allowing pets to live a longer and happier life.
Benefits of spaying and neutering
- Reduces the likelihood of pets developing cancers
One of the most obvious benefits include reducing the likelihood of your cats and dogs developing cancers, particularly in the pancreas and testicles. This in turn means you’ll save money on emergency surgeries and treatment related to these diseases in the future.
- Helps increase the longevity of your pets
A 2013 report from the University of Georgia stated that neutered and spayed dogs lived up to 9 years old, while another report from the Banfield Pet Hospitals said cats who went through the same procedure lived longer than those who didn’t.
- Reduces bad behavior
Sterilized pets have also shown more positive behavior. In female pets, this means less noise and hyperactivity. Males on the other hand have been shown to be less likely to leave home to find a mate, mark territories inside the house, and fight other males.
- Saves resources for shelters and you
Lastly, spaying and neutering has been shown to ease the burden on pet shelters. Because of reduced puppies and kittens being brought in, food and other supplies can be given to more rescues who need them.
While it’s true that seeing your furbabies give birth can be a heartwarming thing, it’s more important to consider your resources. Taking care of kittens and puppies is possible, but only if you can afford to shoulder the responsibility of adding new members to your family. That being said, it’s always better to invest in your pet’s health and stop them from going into heat to let them live longer, happier lives.
These are just some of our thoughts on the benefits of sterilizing your pets. What do you think about the practice of spaying and neutering your furbabies?