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CHRONICLE HERALD: Shattering Common Myths about spaying & neutering

Posted on: Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your dog or cat will lead a healthy happy life. Unfortunately, there are a number of common myths about spaying and neutering that may confuse well-intended pet owners and may even keep some from doing the responsible thing. Let’s set the record straight.

 

Myth: Spay/neuter surgery is risky and painful.

 

Fact: Veterinarians are very experienced in conducting spay and neuter surgeries, which are considered safe, routine procedures. The health benefits of having your pet spayed or neutered far outweigh the slight risk involved with undergoing anesthesia. Pets are given medication before and after the procedure to keep them comfortable while under anesthesia and as they heal. Pets need about one week of limited activity following surgery.

 

Myth: It’s better to let your pet have one litter before she is spayed.

 

Fact: Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. Females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier than those spayed after having a litter. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association recommends spaying your pets around five months of age. But it’s never too late. The Nova Scotia SPCA can help through its spay/neuter assistance program and Prevent Unwanted Pets (P.U.P.) Program.

 

Myth: My pet’s personality will change.

 

Fact: Your pet’s personality owes much more to genetics and environment than sex hormones. You will see less dominant and less roaming behaviors after your pet is spayed or neutered, but their personality remains the same.

 

Myth: My pet will become fat and lethargic.

 

Fact: Inactivity and overfeeding cause pets to get fat, not spaying or neutering. Given proper diet and adequate exercise, spayed/neutered pets can remain as active and fit as their intact counterparts.

 

Myth: My male pet will feel less “manly.”

 

Fact: Pets have no concept of sexual identity like humans do. Neutering does not change a pet’s emotions. It will, however, curb your male pet’s desire to wander away from home to find a mate.

 

Myth: My dog won’t be as protective.

 

Fact: Dogs are by nature pack animals and will protect those with whom they’ve bonded. Their natural instinct to protect home and family is not affected by spaying or neutering.

 

Myth: I’ll find good homes for all the puppies/kittens.

 

Fact: Many people end up trying to give away litters through an ad or by sitting in a parking lot and asking passing people to take one. There is no way to know if they are going to a good home and many give-away pets will never be spayed or neutered, adding to the pet overpopulation problem.

If you have, or will soon have a litter of puppies or kittens in your home, call the SPCA (toll-free: 1-844-835-4798). The SPCA will accept the kittens or puppies into their Prevent Unwanted Pets (P.U.P.) Program, find them loving homes, spay and return the mother all free of charge.

 

Myth: Spaying and neutering is expensive.

 

Fact: Spay or neuter surgery is a relatively small cost when compared to numerous health and behavioral benefits listed below.

 

Benefits of Spaying/Neutering Your Pet:

 

Spayed females are not at risk of developing ovarian or uterine cancers. The risk of breast cancer and uterine infections is also greatly decreased.

Neutering your male pet prevents testicular cancer and decreases the risk of prostate problems.

Spayed females won’t go into heat, so there’s no howling or need for messy diapers.

Neutered males and spayed females are less likely to mark their territory or try to attract the opposite sex by spraying.

Pets are less likely to wander from home and be injured or killed by predators or cars.

Spaying/neutering prevents unwanted litters, many of which become stray and suffer from starvation and disease.

 

 

Please be a responsible pet owner and spay or neuter your pet.