The Truth Behind Spaying and Neutering Myths
Myth: Female dogs and cats should have at least one litter before having them spayed.
Truth: There is no medical evidence to justify allowing a dog or cat to have a litter before spaying. In fact, spaying female dogs and cats eliminates the possibility of developing uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the threat of mammary cancer.
Myth: Animals become less active and overweight as a result of spaying or neutering.
Truth: As any animal matures, it is necessary for human guardians to adjust dietary intake to compensate for more sedentary lifestyles. Animals become overweight only when they are fed too much and not exercised properly.
Myth: Behavior is adversely affected by sterilization.
Truth: The only changes in dog and cat behavior after spaying or neutering are positive changes. Male cats tend to reduce territorial spraying, depending on their age at neutering. Neutered dogs and cats fight less, resulting in fewer bite and scratch wounds and lessening the spread of contagious diseases. Male dogs and cats tend to stay home more after neutering because they no longer wander in search of a mate.
Myth: Spaying and neutering is painful to my dog or cat.
Truth: Surgical sterilization is performed under general anesthesia by a doctor of veterinary medicine. The procedure itself is not felt by the patient. There may be mild discomfort after the surgery, but most animals return to normal activity within 24 to 72 hours. The minimal discomfort experienced by dogs and cats that are spayed or neutered can be lessened with post-operative pain medications and is well worth the endless suffering that is prevented by eliminating homeless puppies and kittens.
Myth: Children should be allowed to witness the miracle of birth.
Truth: Most dogs and cats have their litters at night in quiet, dark places far out of anyone’s sight. Besides, every litter of puppies and kittens born contributes to the thousands of unwanted dogs and cats who die every day across America in our nation’s pounds and animal shelters.
Myth: Spaying and neutering are expensive.
Truth: The cost of sterilization varies greatly from one private veterinarian to another. SNAP provides free and reduced-cost sterilization for animals through regular clinic programs and specially funded projects throughout Texas. Call 800.762.7762 for information.