If you’ve ever thought about adding a pet to your family, spaying or neutering should definitely be on your to-do list. During this procedure, reproductive organs are removed from your pet to prevent reproduction, disease, and behavior issues. This month on ‘Pet Talk’ we’ll let you know why spaying and neutering is vital for both your and your pet’s health and happiness.
Every year, millions of pets are born happy and healthy, but sadly millions each year are abandoned or surrendered to shelters, where only a small percentage are adopted. Some of these pets come from irresponsible pet owners who don’t make the commitment to keep their pet, or due to lack of research about care and breed characteristics. Most are victims of overpopulation or ‘oopsies.’
Spaying/neutering is the responsibility of every pet owner, and unless there is a medical condition present or you are a reputable breeder, it should always be taken into account and planned for when bringing home a pet. Also, if you are hesitating about sterilizing your pet because you may be interested in breeding, make sure you do your due diligence in research. Responsible breeding is not easy, by any stretch of the imagination, and it takes an owner who is up for a challenge, and who has patience, knowledge of newborn training, and funds for all of the veterinary care and vaccinations required pre- and post-birth.
As caring pet parents, we strive to keep our pets as happy and healthy as possible and spaying/neutering provides both behavior and health benefits to help you do just that. Not only does it provide the benefits below, but it also has been proven to extend canine lifespan by one to three years and feline lifespans for three to five – the procedure is worth it to love your furry friend that much longer!
Another often-overlooked benefit of sterilizing your pet is the advantages it offers for pet owners. If you would like to send your pets to daycare or to be boarded at some point during their life, sterilization is required by some facilities – and in situations where it is not required, your pet will likely have to be kept separate from other pets in order to prevent pregnancy. It is also an unspoken rule that pets taken to public places where other pets are present, such as dog parks, should be spayed/neutered. If you are a renter, be aware that some landlords require pets to be sterilized and up-to-date on all vaccinations to live in their rental properties. Having your pet spayed/neutered just makes pet ownership life easier and more worry-free.
Now that you know the benefits of sterilizing your pet, let’s get down to the need-to-knows. Always choose a reputable veterinarian to perform the surgery on your pet; this tends to be a routine surgery for most veterinarians, but they will be able to best handle complications should the need arise. You’ll typically want to have the surgery performed at around the age of 6 months for most pets, and soon after adoption of older pets, but your vet may have different advice for pets with certain conditions; talk to them to get an expert opinion on when to do the surgery.
Post-surgery, your veterinarian will recommend a pain management system and care plan for your pet. Never give your pet human pain medication, which can be fatal. If you feel like your pet needs stronger pain medication or unstoppable bleeding occurs, contact your vet immediately. Most vets will use stitches that dissolve on their own on the incision site, but if non-dissolvable sutures are used or the stitches do not dissolve within 10-14 days, plan for a follow-up visit for your vet to remove them.
Now that you know the basics on why to spay/neuteryour pet and what to expect, it’s time to talk to your vet! Contact us today if you have any questions about the procedure or to schedule an appointment for your pet at 701.757.3500.