February is a dedicated month to preventing unwanted litters and encouraging pet parents to spay and neuter their pets. Did you know that 50% of litters are unplanned? This is not to say that all litters of puppies and kittens are not necessary, but if only those litters that are planned truly occurred then the number of pets in shelters would be drastically decreased. Think about a world where the best breeding occurred. Think about a world where all cats and dogs have their own homes and people.
Myths about Spaying/Neutering
Spaying/Neutering Causes Weight Gain
The cause of weight gain rest solely on the amount of activity and food intake of your pet. A pet that is intact may require more caloric intake than a spayed/neutered pet. If you are unsure of how much to feed your pet after having them altered, talk to your veterinarian or veterinary technician. They will happy to help you calculate the calorie needs specifically for your pet.
Spaying/Neutering Causes Behavioral Changes
It can be true that spaying/neutering has the potential to cause behavioral changes such as less aggression, urine marking, and straying. Intact pets tend to stray away from their owners in search of a mate. Many hits by a car happen to intact animals because they are in heat or following an in-heat female. Other changes such as less aggression or minimizing urine marking are all positive behavioral changes. Some behavioral changes such as making a male dog less hyper or eliminating mounting may or may not occur. Typically pets follow their training. If a pet is trained well then it may only display hyper and active behavior when it is appropriate. This does not matter if the pet is altered or unaltered.
It is Healthier to Wait Until Pets are 6 months or Older
There are cases in which studies show pets may need to be 6 months or older to spay or neuter. However, for most breeds of dogs and especially cats it is healthiest to spay a female prior to her first heat cycle. This significantly reduces the chances of mammary tumors, uterine infections and other reproductive problems. For males, neutering can lessen the risk for prostate or testicular cancer if done at a young age. Not to mention reducing the risk of straying.
The Cost of the Procedure is Too Much
On the contrary, there are many different shelters and low-cost clinics in the area that provide affordable spaying and neutering services. Florida Aid to Animals is one specifically and Brevard County Sheriff Office’s website has a list of many others.
All pets deserve to have a family of their own. Be the person that is responsible enough to spay or neuter your pet if breeding is not an option. Be the person that prevents a litter this month! Take care of the pets you have and adopt if you have room for one more paw on your heart.
Contact us at Space Coast Pet Services to help with your pet taxi, pet sitting and dog walking service needs. We can help with medication management after any surgical procedure as well with no additional fees.
After traveling the world as a ‘military brat’, Melanie settled in Brevard County, FL in 2013. She is the mother of 2 amazing children and 2 adorable pups. She volunteers at her children’s elementary school, Hidden Acres Rescue for Thoroughbreds (HART) and served on the Committee of her son’s Cub Scout Pack. When not being a Mom Taxi between hockey practices, Cub Scouts, fire stations, horse riding lessons and various school activities, she enjoys reading, swimming, hiking in the mountains and traveling. (And naps!)