Spaying or neutering is an important part of any dog’s medical care. Puppies as young as eight weeks of age can be safely spayed or neutered, but older dogs can also be good candidates for the surgery as well.
The most obvious reason to spay or neuter your pet is the health benefits it offers. Spayed female dogs are said to live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs, while neutered male dogs like 18% longer than male dogs who are not neutered. Spaying and neutering helps reduce the risk of certain reproductive health problems. Male pets who are neutered have a lower risk of testicular cancer, while female pets who are spayed have a lower risk of uterine cancer and pyometra (a fatal uterine infection). Dogs who have been spayed or neutered also have a reduced urge to roam. This protects them from getting hit by a cars or getting into fights with other animals.
Aside from the health benefits, spaying and neutering can be an easy way to curb bad behavior. Male dogs are much more likely to engage in urine marking if they have not been neutered. Excessive barking, mounting, and other dominance related behaviors can be curbed by neutering or spaying your pet. Studies have also found that the majority of dog bites involve pets who are unaltered.
Finally, spaying and neutering is our best defense against unwanted pets. Animal shelters across the United States are already struggling to find homes for abandoned dogs, many of whom are given up after their owner discovers how difficult it is to care for a litter of puppies. Spaying and neutering is the only 100% effective method of birth control for your dog.
If you are worried about the cost of spaying or neutering your pet, the ASPA website maintains a list of low-cost spay or neuter programs that can provide assistance.
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