Two Rottweiler puppies poking their head between a wood fence.

The Birds, the Bees, and Spaying or Neutering your Pet

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.  The following information will let you know why spaying or neutering is vital for both you and your pet’s health and happiness.

Brown striped cat relaxing with head on its white dipped paws

Preventing Overpopulation

While millions of pets are born happy and healthy every year, sadly many others are also abandoned or surrendered to shelters, where only a small percent are adopted. The largest contributing factor to this overpopulation issue is the failure to spay and neuter pets. Many are the offspring of abandoned animals whose owners moved, could no longer care for them, or lacked research and information before making the commitment to become a pet parent.  Luckily, by educating ourselves on both the dedication to adopting a pet and the importance of spaying and neutering, we can do our part to help control the overpopulation of domesticated animals.

Spaying and 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. If you are hesitant 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, and it takes an owner who has patience, knowledge of newborn training, and funds for all of the veterinary care and vaccinations required pre- and post-birth.

It’s Healthier for Your Pet

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!

Health and Behavior Benefits of Spaying & Neutering Your Pet

  • Decreases risk of mammary gland tumors, prostate disease, and ovarian, uterine and testicular cancer
  • Reduces desire to roam, therefore less likely to go missing or become injured in fights and auto accidents
  • Decreases aggressive and destructive behaviors, including biting, scratching, marking, digging, and reactivity

More Opportunities for You and Your Pet

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 most 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 makes pet ownership life easier and more practical.

Two dogs run on bridge with large green rope toy.
A sleepy cat lays on its back while a person pets its face.

Getting Your Pet Spayed/Neutered

Pre-surgery: 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/neuter your pet and what to expect, it’s time to talk to your vet! Contact us if you have any questions about the procedure or would like to schedule an appointment at 701.757.3500.

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