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Facts (and Myths) About Spaying and Neutering

There are two sides to just about everything, including the subject of spaying and neutering pets. However, unless you already are, or are planning to become a careful, conscientious, and knowledgeable breeder of purebred animals, spaying and neutering your pet is an excellent idea. There are already too many unwanted and homeless animals in the world so why add to the problem by producing more? It's time to put to rest some age-old myths, and replace them with facts.

MYTH: "My pets will be happier and healthier if left intact."
FACT: Actually, their happiness depends much more on you and the time you spend with them than on whether or not they are sexually intact. As for health, spayed and neutered animals run less risk of infection from breeding with unhealthy street dogs and bitches; won't have false pregnancies; are free of the physical stress of having a litter at too young or too old an age; and are not subject to testicular, uterine, or breast cancer. In addition, they will not be prone to injuries sustained from fighting. A few statistics:
Spayed and neutered pets live 30% longer than intact animals.
Female dogs have a 700% increase in breast cancer rates after only 5 heats!
Males dogs not neutered have a 25-30% chance of getting prostate or testicular cancer!

MYTH: "My female should have at least one litter before she is spayed."
FACT: No, the sooner your female is spayed, the better. Not only do younger animals better tolerate the surgery, but the sooner she is spayed, the sooner, you'll be able to prevent unwanted litters, and quicker the health benefits will begin.

MYTH: "Neutering may negatively change my male's personality."
FACT: Neutering may affect the male's personality, but if so, in a positive way. Male's often display more affection for their owners after neutering, as they turn their attention to things other than wandering and fighting with other males. A male cat's offensive urine odors cease after neutering. Leg lifting and spraying also often cease. Neutered pets are always better behaved!

MYTH: "My female's emotional state will be harmed if she doesn't experience the first heat cycle."
FACT: A heat cycle has absolutely no effect on the female's emotional health. Proper attention from you and normal maturing in the right environment work together to ensure an emotionally sound pet. Also, females that never have a heat almost never have breast cancers!

MYTH:  "I can keep my male from roaming and my in-season female away from males without putting them through surgery."
FACT: GOOD LUCK. Males and females alike become obsessed with mating when the female is in season. They can be very determined, and will persist in all sorts of ways to get together, even over and through fences. In addition, every female needs to go outdoors to relieve herself some time. It isn't realistic to think you can protect her every moment. Established breeders build expensive, specially designed kennels for housing bitches in season in order to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Even then, accidents can happen; so don't lull yourself into a false sense of security by thinking you can control strong animal instincts. You can't!

MYTH: "My pet will get fat after spaying or neutering."
FACT: Only if you let it. Proper weight control depends more on you than on the changes in your pet's metabolism. The only source of food and proper exercise is the person providing them - YOU!

Check with us about the proper age to spay or neuter your animal. We usually advise 6 months of age. When properly timed, these simple procedures will hardly affect your pet. They can be performed quickly and safely to ensure continued good health for your pet and to prevent population growth of unwanted animals.