Should You Spay or Neuter Your Pet?

What Every Pet Parent Should Know About Spaying and Neutering
By Madison Guthrie


Every year, thousands of dogs and cats are neutered or spayed by their loving pet parents. However, 20 percent of dogs and 10 percent of cats remain unneutered.

At Petsadena, we understand there may be some hesitation for pet parents when it comes to spaying or neutering and that’s why we want to help ease any fears or concerns you may have regarding the process.

Do we support spaying and neutering of dogs and cats? Yes!

Decades of studies have proven that spaying and neutering is not only better for the over-population crisis of dogs and cats, but it is also healthier for your pet and helps aid in a happier and overall more comfortable life for them and for you.

So, with that in mind, let’s go over some of the common misconceptions surrounding spaying and neutering and talk about why you should consider spaying or neutering your pet.

What Is Spaying? 

An ovariohysterectomy, or “spay” is the term used to describe the process of surgically removing a female pet’s reproductive organs.

For female cats and dogs, spaying means removing their ovaries and uterus so they are no longer able to become pregnant. The process is performed while your pet is under general anesthesia.

After a few hours of observation and recovery time, most pets are able to go home a on the same day of the procedure.

What Is Neutering?

Sometimes referred to as a castration, neutering is the process of surgically removing your male pet’s testes while they are under general anesthesia.

For males, this procedure is less invasive than spaying and your pet is usually able to go home with you on the same day of their surgery after a few hours of recovery and observation by his veterinarian. 

When Should You Spay or Neuter Your Dog or Cat?

We recommend that cats and small dogs get neutered between the ages of five to six months and after your kitten or puppy has received all of their vaccinations.  With that being said, it is safe to spay or neuter an adult cat or dog. 

Larger breed dogs should be spayed or neutered between six to 12 months.

We should note that research is still ongoing to determine if there are any health benefits to waiting to neuter or spay your dog.

If you have questions regarding the best age to neuter your fur kid, reach out to us today at Petsadena.com and we will help you determine the appropriate amount of time to wait to spay or neuter based on your unique pet. 

Why Do We Recommend That You Spay or Neuter Your Pet? 

Unless you are a reputable breeder or your pet has serious complications with general anesthesia, we highly recommend having your pet neutered.

Spaying or neutering your dog or cat aids in the homeless pet crisis and helps reduce the number of adoptable animals being put down in shelters due to overpopulation.

Of course, there are also a number of health and behavioral benefits that go along with spaying and neutering.

Studies suggest that spaying and neutering your dog or cat can help reduce health issues like some cancers and other issues including

  • Testicular cancer in male pets
  • Prostate disease in male pets
  • Pyometra (uterus infection) in female pets
  • Mammary tumors in female pets

Spaying and neutering may also help reduce your pet’s urge to mount, mark, roam, and even behave aggressively or dominantly. 

Are There Any Risks to Spaying or Neutering? 

There are some risks that come with spaying and neutering that pet parents should be aware of.

Still, we do stress that these risks are rare and that the benefits of spaying and neutering far outweigh the risks.

Some risks of spaying and neutering include:

It is normal to be anxious about risks associated with spaying and neutering. If you are concerned about any of the risks above or have any questions, please speak with your veterinarian about ways to reduce the chances of your pet having adverse reactions or complications from being spayed or neutered.

Helping Your Pet Recover After They Are Spayed or Neutered 

In general, spaying takes female dogs and cats a bit longer to recover from than neutering does.

For younger female pets, spaying can take anywhere from two to four days to recover from. Older female pets may need about a week to recover.

Newly neutered male pets typically take about one to three days to recover, with older dogs and cats sometimes needing a few more days.

You can help your dog or cat recover from being spayed or neutered by ensuring you provide them with a calm, safe space to rest and relax where they won’t be disturbed by other pets or young children.

Your veterinarian will prescribe pain medication to help manage your pet’s pain after their procedure.

You can provide your dog or cat a small amount of fresh water after they get home but don’t let them drink too much directly after surgery as this can lead to vomiting.

Once your dog or cat is awake and seeming more alert, you can offer them a small amount of food but don’t be alarmed if they are not hungry.

Typically, the anesthesia will wear off after about 24 hours, at which point you can resume your pet’s normal feeding and drinking routines.

Even though your dog or cat may begin acting normally in the first few days following surgery, we suggest restricting their activity for one to two weeks to ensure their surgical sites have had adequate time to heal.

If you have any concerns about your pet while they are home recovering with you, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

For more on spaying or neutering or to book your pet’s spay or neuter appointment with Petsadena Animal Hospital, contact us today at www.Petsadena.com.

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