Here are the top nine reasons that you should spay or neuter your pet:

  1. Overpopulation. Have you ever heard the expression “The top ten reasons to spay or neuter your pet were killed in the pound today”? It’s an ugly, ugly truth. There are an estimated 6-8 million dogs and cats entering shelters each year. Many of those animals never find forever homes and will be euthanized. Simply adopting and/or euthanizing are not solutions to the pet overpopulation problem. It must be addressed at the source by spaying or neutering pets.
  2. Reduced risk for some cancers. If you spay your female pet before her first heat cycle, the incidence of malignant breast cancer is virtually reduced to zero. Male pets also have a significantly reduced chance of developing prostate or testicular cancers (pets without testicles can’t develop testicular cancer!).
  3. Reduced risk for uterine infections. Spayed pets never develop a uterine infection called pyometra. The infection is caused by progesterone, which is not produced once the uterus and ovaries are removed. Think of it as appendicitis for the uterus. It develops quickly, is nasty, painful and deadly if not immediately treated by expensive emergency surgery.
  4. More peaceful nights and cleaner days. Female cats are notorious for calling out to potential mates when they are in heat. This catcalling will last for hours, usually in the middle of the night, for 7-10 days. Since female cats go into heat cycles every two weeks for three cycles a year – that’s a lot of catcalling to endure. Female dogs go into heat for an average of three weeks every 6-8 months. That’s a long time to ward off male callers who will go to surprising lengths to get to your female – even through chain link fences! In addition, female dogs tend to bleed during heat and will constantly dribble on and mess the carpet.
  5. No wild oats to sow. Males are much less likely to roam when neutered because there is a less instinctual drive to find a mate. Roaming males are subjected to car accidents, fights with other animals and even homelessness if they end up in a shelter.
  6. Fewer “showers.” While all pets may have the drive to mark their territory and should be taught to eliminate appropriately outside or in a litter box, unneutered pets are practically guaranteed to urinate on vertical surfaces all over their territory. These surfaces include your tables, couches, chairs, beds, and walls.
  7. Less aggressive behavior. Neutered male pets are less likely to exhibit dominant, testosterone-based aggressive behavior that leads to human bites, fights with other male pets, wounds and veterinary expenses. Intact female pets are also capable of showing aggressive behavior during heat cycles.
  8. Just like little people – little pets cost money. Pregnancy and birth lead to veterinary expenses. Even if all goes well you will have to provide the proper diet for both the mother and babies, standard tests and all vaccinations. If all doesn’t go well you may be looking at an emergency surgery to save the lives of mother and babies. Then you have to look at the time involved in finding proper homes for the puppies or kittens. It is far less expensive to spay or neuter your pet before they have the chance to mate.
  9. Not enough homes. Every puppy or kitten born in a littler (6-10) means that every pet already in a shelter is less likely to find a forever home. This is very similar to overpopulation, but instead, you’re looking at it from the point of view of the pets already in shelters. There are only so many people out there willing to take in a homeless pet, adding more to the adoption pool dilutes the chances of any one animal finding a family and home.