I am incredibly pleased to be attending a press conference this afternoon, announcing that Kamloops is getting a low cost spay/neuter clinic.  The BCSPCA bigwigs are coming up, schmoozing will happen.  We’ve been lobbying for a long time for this clinic, and it is going to make a huge difference in our community.  I would do backward handsprings, but I’d hurt myself.   So I’m settling for an enormous grin, and 13 Reasons to Spay/Neuter Your Pet.

1. By having your pets spayed and neutered, you will help to reduce the terrible overpopulation of companion animals.  In just seven years, one unspayed cat and her offspring can produce over 450,000 cats!  (Average litter of three, twice a year).  In seven years, one dog and her offspring can produce over 4,000 dogs!  (Average litter of four, once a year.)

2.  Your female dog or cat will live a longer, healthier life.  Spaying helps prevent pyometra (pus-filled uterus) and breast cancer, and eliminates the risk for ovarian and uterine cancer.  Spaying before your animal enters her first heat offers the best protection.

3.  Your spayed female won’t go into heat.  (I don’t know why anyone would want to go through a heat season, personally!)  In trying to attract a mate, the female cat will yowl and urinate more frequently (all over the house!).  The female dog will often have a week of bloody discharge, and she is fertile for approximately a week afterward.  While dogs generally come into heat twice a year, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season.

4.  Your male dog or cat benefits from neutering, too!  If he is neutered before six months of age, he will be protected from testicular cancer and less likely to develop prostate enlargement or prostate cancer.

5.  Your male dog will be less likely to try to escape to go and find a mate.  An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate, and once he’s free, he can be hit by a car or get into fights with other males.

6.  Your male dog will likely be much better behaved, as well!  Neutered cats and dogs are better able to focus their attention on their human families, because they are free from sexual anxiety.  If a cat or dog is unneutered, they may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house.  Also, when indoors, male dogs may mount furniture and human legs when stimulated.  And importantly, many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering (preferably before six months of age).

7.  It is a MYTH that neutered dogs won’t be good protectors of your home.  A  neutered dog protects his home and family just as well as unneutered dog.

8.  It is also a MYTH that fixing your animal will make him/her fat.  Lack of exercise and overfeeding make pets fat, not spaying or neutering.

9.  Spaying and neutering is cost-effective.  The cost of spay or neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter.  It is also less than the cost of treatment when your unneutered male escapes and gets into fights, or the cost of cleaning the carpet that your unspayed female keeps mistaking for her litter box, or the cost of cleaning bloody discharge from your carpet.

10.  Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to witness the miracle of birth.
Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping teaches your children irresponsibility.  Anyone who has seen an animal euthanized for lack of a home knows that this is a dangerous MYTH.  There are many fabulous books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a responsible manner.

11. A female pet does NOT benefit from having one litter before she is spayed. Allowing your female cat or dog to have a litter does NOT provide any benefits.  There are health risks to the mother during pregnancy and when giving birth.

12.  If you have more than one companion animal, they are more likely to get along better if they are spayed and neutered.

13.  Even rabbits should be spayed and neutered!  Check out why here.

Bonus:  You will be a responsible pet guardian if you have your pet spayed or neutered!

Thanks to the BCSPCA and the ASPCA for these lists.

Go to the Thursday Thirteen hub to see what other people wrote about!