Did you know early spaying of female dogs and cats can help protect them from some serious health problems later in life such as uterine infections and breast cancer. Neutering your male pet can also lessen its risk of developing benign enlarged prostate gland and testicular cancer.
Besides health reasons, spaying or neutering your pets helps control the issue of overpopulation. According to the Humane Society, “Many people are surprised to learn that nationwide, more than 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters annually”. While they still may seem to be kittens themselves, cats can actually get pregnant as early as five months old, and dogs as early as six months old, and each can have two to three litters a year. If this cat is a stray or becomes stray at some point, imagine how many litters it will have in it’s lifetime.
Some issues that arise from not neutering include dominance, aggression, spraying, and roaming. Many people find that after they neuter their pet, the pet is calmer and better behaved. Neutering reduces the natural need to breed.
Many people argue that it’s good for their pet to have at least one litter before they get neutered or spayed. It’s best to spay pets before they reach sexual maturity in order to reap the full health benefits. Spaying your female companion animal before her first heat cycle means she will have one-seventh the risk of developing mammary cancer. Spaying also eliminates female animals’ risk of diseases and cancers of the ovaries and uterus, which are often life-threatening and require expensive surgery and treatment.
Talk to your veterinarian about the best time to spay or neuter your pet. So you have an idea of timing, according to the ASPCA, the following times are the best to get your pet “fixed”.
- For dogs: While the traditional age for neutering is six to nine months, puppies as young as eight weeks old can be neutered as long as they’re healthy. Dogs can be neutered as adults as well, although there’s a slightly higher risk of post-operative complications in older dogs, dogs that are overweight or dogs that have health problems.
- For cats: It is generally considered safe for kittens as young as eight weeks old to be spayed or neutered. In animal shelters, surgery is often performed at this time so that kittens can be sterilized prior to adoption. In an effort to avoid the start of urine spraying and eliminate the chance for pregnancy, it’s advisable to schedule the surgery before your own cat reaches five months of age. It’s possible to spay a female cat while she’s in heat.
Some low cost spay and neuter organizations in the Lehigh Valley:
Center for Animal Health and Welfare 610-252-7722
Forgotten Felines and Fidos 610-760-9009
No Nonsense Neutering 866-820-2510
No Kill Lehigh Valley 484-554-5048
Peaceable Kingdom 610-432-2532