Why Your Pets Should Be Spayed or Neutered

Updated: April 05, 2023

One of the most important things you will have to face as a pet parent is to consider why your pets should be spayed or neutered.

Many pet parents get confused about spay vs neuter. To clarify, spaying is the surgical process of removing the uterus and ovaries of your female pet. While neutering, on the other hand, is the surgical process of removing the testicles of your male pet.

" It is said that spayed or neutered pets enjoy lifelong benefits. "

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, spayed or neutered pets enjoy lifelong benefits. In this article, we will tackle what these benefits are and how they will improve your pet’s quality of life for many years ahead. We will discuss how to know the right time when to spay or neuter a dog or cat and how how to care for your pets post-surgery.

The Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

Provides a longer and healthier life

Spayed and neutered pets will have lesser risks of developing breast cancer, testicular cancer, and uterine infections, as these are very common illnesses that can be life-threatening if not properly dealt with. It causes death in about 90 percent of cats and 50 percent of dogs. Cat and dog neutering and spaying will greatly help you prevent these from happening to your pet.

Cuts down your vet bills

Having to take care of a pet dealing with a reproductive system health problem can cost you a lot! As a matter of fact, diseases like pyometra (infection of the uterus) can even cause up to ten times the normal expenses of spaying. Not mentioning the medicines and additional veterinary costs.

Curbs bad behavior

Spaying and neutering can help curb your furbaby’s bad behavior. A spayed dog will lessen the chances of urine-marking and a spayed cat will lessen spraying issues.

The following are the other behavioral issues spaying and neutering can help keep under control:

  • the excessive urge to roam, especially when females nearby are "in heat"
  • excessive digging of holes to escape containment area
  • aggression; research says that most dog bite incidents involve unneutered dogs
  • excessive barking, excessive chewing, and other dominance-related bad behaviors

Note: Spaying and neutering only help to curb bad behaviors. It does not completely eliminate them.

Prevents unplanned breedings

Spayed and neutered pets will no longer be able to reproduce, as they no longer have intact reproductive systems. Your female pet will no longer go into heat and your male will no longer spend his time marking territories all over your house & fighting with other males.

Spaying and neutering will prevent unplanned breedings, unwanted pregnancies, will keep your pets from marking all over the house, and will keep them from escaping from your home just to look for possible mates!

Also, accidental breedings from different breeds can destroy a breed's standards and qualities. So if ever your pet gets to mate another pet of the same kind but is of another breed, certain health risks may be present in their litter.

Reduces pet homelessness

As mentioned, spayed and neutered pets will no longer be able to reproduce. This will help reduce the number of stray animals and pets getting placed in shelters & rescue centers. These animals are from unplanned & accidental breedings, while some were once cherished family pets.

If these shelters and rescue centers get too crowded, euthanasia becomes the last resort. These rising numbers could have been prevented with spaying and neutering.

Spaying and Neutering Helps the Community

Stray animals that were once family pets or were left on the streets due to unplanned breedings can cause a threat to the community you are a part of. Pets who have no owners and just live on the streets can cause car accidents, damage your neighborhood’s local garden or fauna, and frighten people as some of these strays may be aggressive. Spaying and neutering help reduce the number of strays on the streets.

Determining the Right time for Spaying and Neutering

When to spay or neuter a dog or cat is a very common question among pet parents. Spaying and neutering is a surgical process removing the parts responsible for reproduction in pets - the uterus and both ovaries for the female and the testes for the male. But really, when is the right time to spay or neuter your pet? Spaying and neutering will have many medical and behavioral benefits for your pet, including the following:

A longer and healthier life. Spaying your pet can help prevent uterine infections and breast tumors which have a greater risk of developing into cancerous tumors. Spaying before your pet goes into their first heat can be the best protection from it in many cases. However, some vets recommend waiting until your female dog has been through one or more heat cycles to spay, depending on breed, size, age, etc. Neutering, on the other hand, prevents some prostate problems and testicular cancer in your male pet.

Your female pet will no longer go into heat. Spaying will prevent your female pet from going into heat. While in heat and in an effort to attract males, your pet will be urinating more frequently all over the house! Talk about a mess! Spaying also prevents unwanted pregnancies, saving you from the burden and expenses of raising a litter you didn't plan for. Here are some things to take into consideration as you determine when to spay a dog:

  • Spaying also keeps you away from having to deal with male dogs who get easily attracted to your fur-princess' smell when she's in heat.
  • Spaying keeps your female dog from escaping away from home. If your dog is not spayed, she will find all means to be able to escape the house and go find some dog to mate.
  • Spaying drops the unpleasant odor frequently linked with a dog in heat. Spaying eliminates the rather unattractive (read: totally offensive) odor often associated with a dog in heat. Your nose may not be as sensitive as your dog’s, but you will still be able to smell this.
  • By spaying your female dog, you will no longer have to deal with mess and stains all over your house as your female dog will no longer go into heat.

Your male pet will no longer escape and roam away from home. If he is not neutered, your male pet will be so attracted to the smell of a female in heat and they will find all the means to escape the house, find the female with the hopes of being able to mate. This can be dangerous for your male pet since they can be injured in the road with cars and can get into fights with other animals.

A common question is how much does it cost to neuter a dog or spay a dog or cat. If you are worried about the price associated, look for low-cost spay and neuter clinics nearby. Many organizations will host events or offer discounted spay and neuter for your pet if you cannot afford the surgery. More than likely, you will be able to find one nearby.

what is spayed vs neutered

When is the Right Time to Spay or Neuter?

What’s the best age to neuter a male dog? Should you spay a female dog before or after her heat cycles begin? And when should you spay or neuter a cat?

When to spay or neuter a dog. The traditional age for spaying or neutering a dog is six to nine months because surgical and anesthetic techniques available require the animal to be at least six months of age to be able to undergo the procedure.

But as technology has advanced, dogs as young as 4 to 6 months old can already be spayed as recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). By this age, a dog's sex organs are fully developed. Adult dogs can also be spayed or neutered but there is a little risk for post-operative complications especially for obese dogs and senior dogs.

But what is stated are just recommendations. The best way to know the appropriate time for spaying your dog is by talking to your veterinarian so that your dog's health condition and needs can be taken into consideration, especially if your dog is nearing her senior years.

When to spay or neuter a cat. It is considered safe to spay or neuter kittens as early as six weeks old, but best to schedule your pet cat to undergo surgery before they reach five months old (as kittens can get pregnant as young as five months old).

While you can have your cat spayed or neutered at any time, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) advises that you have your cat spayed or neutered by five months of age. This provides your cat the advantages of being spayed or neutered while still entitling them to grow.

Post-operative Expectations and Management

Spaying and neutering will have your furbaby feeling down for a few days. Since spaying especially is a major surgery, post-surgery care has a great role to play for your furbaby's fast recovery. Here are some things you can expect after spaying and things you can do to help get your dog or cat recovered in no time.

  • You can take your dog or cat home immediately after the surgery but some pet parents opt to let their dogs remain overnight in their vet's clinic to give her more time to rest after the surgery. At home, provide a stress-free environment so your spayed dog won't get stressed out so easily. Let them rest in an area of your house far from loud noises, visitors, and other pets.
  • Your dog or cat might experience nausea and appetite loss for the first few days after the spaying or neutering surgery. Do not force-feed them. Your dog will eat and drink water when they are ready.
  • Restrict activities for the following week, since a lot of movement and strenuous activities might cause irritations or infections on the incision. Your vet may even recommend two weeks of restricted activity.
  • As the incision gets better, it will become a little itchy and your furbaby will begin to scratch or lick the area. If your dog keeps on doing this, it will irritate the incision. You can let your dog wear an e-collar, but many dogs will not enjoy the feeling of restriction around their head. An alternative is Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers around the incision area to prevent licking or scratching the incision.
  • A few days after the surgery, your furbaby may still be unable to walk to pee or to have full control of her bladder. That's why Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers play such an important role so that your dog can just pee without the mess and without having to bathe in her own urine. For added protection, you can also use Pawtect® Pads.
  • According to Dog Time, your furbaby may want to play as they start to feel better, but try to restrict physical activity until they have fully recovered. Your vet can advise you on when it is okay to let your dog exercise again.
  • Be aware of your dog's nutritional needs. Provide Pet Parents® Multivitamin SoftSupps® with a variety of vitamins and nutrients that will help meet your dog's nutritional needs for a faster recovery. These supplements contain: (1) PurforMSM®, a branded ingredient and one of the purest forms of MSM in the world. This may help maintain cushion between joints to help support overall mobility & joint stress recovery; (2) Enzymes, Niacin & our proprietary probiotic blend (1 B CFU) that help support proper digestion & bowel health; (3) Folic Acid & Coenzyme Q10, a pure compound that helps promote normal circulation & support normal cardiovascular function, and many more!

Note: Call your vet as soon as you see any strange symptoms or abnormal changes in your furbaby that concern you. You may observe right away after surgery that your dog isn’t acting normal. While it is a completely normal for your dog to be tired and a bit out of sorts, let your vet know any signs that concern you, or if your furbaby does not seem to be getting better.

Spaying a dog is beneficial, not only to you but for your furbaby the most. Aside from preventing unplanned breedings and litters, it also lessens the risk of your furbaby from developing life-threatening diseases.

Post-operative Complications for Spay and Neuter

Every surgery has its risks. Post-operative complications after spaying a dog or cat (or neutering a dog or cat) can occur. Some complications after spaying or neutering can include:

Complications from anesthesia. Some pets may be allergic to anesthesia especially when they had surgery before and showed signs of sensitivity to it. If your pet has this, tell your veterinarian in advance before the surgery.

Infections. Licking and scratching of your pet's incision site is a common dog spay complication as well as neuter complication. And it leads to only one thing: Infection. Proper hygiene is one of the most important things to consider when handling your recovering pet. A dirty environment and a dirty pet's incision site are breeding grounds for bacteria and bacteria means infection!

Clean the incision site every day as directed by your veterinarian, check for swelling, discharge, sutures falling off & fever and use e-collars, Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers or Pet Parents® Washable Dog Belly Bands to prevent your pet from licking and scratching the neuter or spay incision site. Your cat might also attempt to lick or access their incision area after spaying or neutering. Pet Parents® also offers Cat Diapers to protect the wound and keep your cat healing properly.

It is always best to consult your veterinarian so they can assess and evaluate your pet if they are fit enough to be spayed or neutered for a comfortable and safe recovery.

Post-Operative Depression. Some pets get stressed after they have been spayed or neutered which may be possibly caused by physical discomfort, hormonal changes, medication side effects, and the stress from the experience.

It is a must to make your pets feel secure after recovery. The operation may somehow be a traumatic experience for some. But if you will show love and care and offer them Pet Parents® Pawtect® Blanket, they will probably less to experience depression.

Lack of appetite. After surgery, your pet would probably lose their appetite. They show no interest in food because they are in pain. Even if they do not finish their food, you should find a way to at least feed them to boost their immune system. Don’t forget to provide them with the necessary medicines prescribed by your veterinarian. Give them vitamins and water and even entice them with their favorite treat as well.

If you have observed that your pet is experiencing the above-mentioned complications and even other complications unstated, you should seek professional help immediately. Consult your veterinarian about your observations to not complicate things and address the concerns right away.

How Can Pet Parents® Help?

After spaying or neutering, your furbaby will need your help for faster recovery. Here are some of the things you can do:

Provide diapers and pee pads. Your furbaby will feel weak, disoriented, and will lose their ability to control their bowels and bladder for a while after surgery, as a result of anesthesia and certain medications. To prevent your pet from soiling themselves with their own mess, have them wear dog diapers and add on pee pads as protective bedding to help to keep your furbaby comfortable and your home clean. Change diapers and pee pads every four hours when necessary.

Also, aside from using an e-collar that stops your furbaby from eating and drinking properly, you can use dog diapers or belly bands as post-operation cover-ups to keep him from licking or scratching the wound.

Make sure the diapers, belly bands, and pee pads you use are premium and of high quality, like that from Pet Parents®. Washable, eco-friendly, and cost-effective, these pet essentials are made from soft, non-abrasive WickQuick ® proprietary fabric that wicks away liquid faster than any options in the market.

Provide a proper diet. Providing your dog a good, healthy diet can speed up recovery. But see to it that the diet you provide is advised by your veterinarian. A healthy diet will provide your dog the needed nutrition.

You can provide Pet Parents® 5-in-1 Multivitamins that can help boost your furry buddy's immune system. These multivitamins can be given when your dog is not eating well after a surgery and is on recovery.

Pet Parents® SoftSupps™ Multivitamins are packed with a high quality Proprietary Enzyme Blend that supports complete gut health. Niacin helps in the breakdown of fatty acids to help your dog convert fats and carbs into sources of energy. Additionally, a powerful Proprietary Probiotic Blend supports your furbaby’s overall health and immunity. And yes,these multivitamins are absolutely designed to keep your fur baby in top health!>

Spaying and neutering your pets will give a number of benefits for them and for you as a pet owner. But it is very important to know when to give them the said operation to avoid severe complications. Neutered and spayed cats and dogs are sometimes able to live healthier lives as needless complications or unplanned pregnancies are avoided and prevented. If you are considering spaying or neutering your pet, contact your veterinarian to know more about the process and encourage your fellow pet parents to do the same.

Spaying and neutering your pets will give a number of benefits for them and for you as a pet owner. But it is very important to know when to give them the said operation to avoid severe complications. Neutered and spayed cats and dogs are sometimes able to live healthier lives as needless complications or unplanned pregnancies are avoided and prevented. If you are considering spaying or neutering your pet, contact your veterinarian to know more about the process and encourage your fellow pet parents to do the same.

" You can provide Pet Parents® 5-in1 Multivitamins that can help boost your furry buddy's immune system. These multivitamins can be given when your dog is not eating well after a surgery and is on recovery. "