Spaying or neutering pets are important for pets, pet owner and communities for so many reasons. To name a few – health benefits, behavioural improvements and addressing overpopulation.
Communities benefit greatly from spay and neuter programs which provide pet owners with more affordable ways to ensure their pets receive the procedures.
As a responsible pet owner, you should know everything about spaying and neutering programs to ensure your pet’s good health. Not sure about submitting your beloved cat or dog to surgery? Ready to do it, but you don’t count on the economic means to carry on? Then you need to keep reading this post.
What is spaying and neutering?
Getting your pet spayed or neutered means they’re undergoing a surgical procedure which is done to prevent them from reproducing.
If spaying and neutering both mean surgery, then what is the difference between them? Simple: If your animal is a female, they get spayed and if your animal is a male, they get neutered.
Spaying means the removal of the ovaries and/or uterus, while neutering means removing the testicles.
More about spay and neuter programs
You can find spaying and neutering programs within the animal welfare system – animal shelters, rescues and clinics which offer spay and neuter services at reduced rates.
Spay and neuter programs help communities, pet owners and the overall wellbeing of animals who receive the procedures. Normally both proceduring can cost up to $200, but it all depends on what type of animal you have.
Making this one-time investment will provide you with life-long benefits as a pet owner. For those who might be low-to-no income, spay and neuter programs can provide financial assistance.
Having these programs and reducing the costs of these surgeries ensures more and more pet owners can get these crucial surgeries for their pets, while contributing to animal welfare as a whole.
These procedures go beyond supporting the wellbeing and health of animals. They impact the animals in each and every community where people chose spaying or neutering their pets.
Having more animals that can’t reproduce will lower the number of puppies and kittens forced into shelters every time the summer mating season is over.
Shelters will always spay or neuter all the animals that are taken into their care and if a person requires the service for their pet, there are low-cost options in most communities. There are also community grants and initiatives to help pet owners pay with the costs of these important surgeries.
Why is it important?
Overpopulation of strays:
Many communities across the world have an animal overpopulation problem and one of the keyways to fix this is getting animals spayed and neutered so they’re not having accidental litters. Spaying and neutering is an effective and humane solution to overpopulation problems.
There is a massive cat overpopulation problem here in B.C. and thousands of kittens are born as strays. Kittens can start reproducing at only five months old.
In other word, if they continue to reproduce in the wilderness, they will likely live as a feral cat and will continue to reproduce – it’s one big cycle that plays into overpopulation.
This means tens of thousands of feral kittens and cats take their chances living outdoors and must endure harsh realities such as frostbite, injuries, starvation, sickness and attacks from predators.
And while this sounds extremely unfortunate, we have made progress and it’s all thanks to accessible neutering and spaying services!
How Spaying and Neutering Programs Work
Because more cats are receiving the surgeries, there has been a significant decrease in feral cats within B.C. communities. However, there is still progress to do.
Dog overpopulation in rural communities is also a big concern within Canada. This includes remote areas that lack access to veterinarian services such as First Nations land. Imagine you have a dog show up at your home in need of food and reproductive surgery, but there’s nowhere to take the poor thing.
The main way to tackle this issue is getting organizations out to these remote areas to perform the spay and neuter surgeries. Also, carrying on vaccinations at no cost – typically this possible through grants and donations.
In other instances, rescue organizations will sometimes visit these communities and take the strays with them so they can receive proper medical care and training in a controlled setting, so they hopefully become house pets one day.
If a stray becomes a house pet, this gives them a better chance of living a long and healthy life. On the other hand, if you have pets and you get them spayed or neutered, you’re also helping the overpopulation problem in your community!
If your pet is spayed or neutered, that removes the chance of it reproducing with another pet or stray that isn’t spayed or neutered.
For female animals, spaying stops them from experiencing heat cycles which can last up to 20 and can occur twice a year for dogs, and up to 15 days and more than three times a year for cats.
Females who are in heat will usually cry constantly, howl, act nervous, can potentially be aggressive, will spray and urinate at random, will attract males and may try to escape because they want to mate. Yikes!
But, if spayed, they will no longer experience heat cycles, won’t try to escape looking to mate. Also, their chances of getting contagious diseases lowers.
Spaying eliminates the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer as well as the life-threatening pyometra infection of the uterus. Same, it reduces the risk of mammary cancer and they become less aggressive, and ultimately, turn into better companions.
It’s also important to remember that most cat pregnancies do not follow a plan, being pregnant is physically hard on cats and dogs. If your pet dog is going through heat, be aware that male dogs can smell them from a kilometre away.
There are tons of benefits to neutering male animals including eliminating the chances of getting testicular cancer, lowering the risks of prostate problems in dogs and decreasing the chances of developing hernias.
Neutering also means your male pets will be less sexually aggressive and territorial and it will also reduce the chances of random urinating and other behaviours.
Similar to spaying, neutered pets will also stop trying to escape to look for mates. After your pet comes out from surgery, you’ll notice they are less hyperactive and are ultimately better as pets.