When you fix your pets you not only prevent unwanted litters, you take a vital step to both improve and prolong the life of your companion pet. Most animal welfare organizations in the United States will adopt out dogs and cats only after they have been fixed. Others require sterilization as a condition of adoption.
Fix your pets to reduce their cancer risk
Both male and female companion pets have reduced incidence of certain types of cancers when they are fixed – another term for having been spayed (for females) or neutered (for males). Spayed pets have a reduced risk of mammary gland tumors when fixed prior to their first heat cycle. In addition, they have a much smaller risk of ovarian and uterine cancers.
Neutered male animals are less likely to get prostate disease, and their risk of testicular cancer is eliminated since the testicles are removed during neuter surgery. Widespread spay/neuter practices have drastically reduced the overall incidence of testicular cancer, but testicular tumors are among the most common cancers in un-neutered male dogs.
Fix your pets to control unwanted behaviors
An intact (un-neutered) male dog is more likely to roam in search of a mate. This behavior increases the dog’s chances of being hit by a vehicle, fighting with other loose or stray animals, or becoming the victim of abuse.
Dogs who have not been neutered typically display more behaviors associated with dominance and aggression, including excessive barking and mounting. And according to the American Veterinary Medical Association intact male dogs are responsible for 70-75 percent of all recorded dog bites.
Intact cats account for a higher rate of aggressive behaviors, too. They are more likely to “spray” – mark their territory with urine – which can be addressed by neutering prior to four months of age. Fixed cats are less likely to roam, howl, and fight with other males.
Fix your pets for low or no cost
It is estimated that only 10 percent of animals entering shelters each year are spayed or neutered. More than 80 percent of pet dogs and 90 percent of pet cats, respectively, are fixed. This still leaves too many animals who are able to reproduce, including stray animals prior to them entering shelters.
Because spay/neuter is so critical to stemming the flow and abuse of homeless animals, many veterinary clinics and animal welfare organizations offer low- or no-cost spay/neuter services to income-qualified individuals. Others offer affordable services through scheduled spay/neuter clinics, mobile spay/neuter vans and other community outreach services. Regardless of cost, fixing your pets is still far less costly than caring for a litter of puppies or kittens.
Use PetsmartCharities® locator to find affordable spay/neuter options near you.
Fix your pets to save lives
At Pets for Patriots we constantly field requests to accept donated animals. Some are from individuals who can no longer care for their dogs and cats, but many are from people whose un-fixed pets have given birth to unwanted litters.
Millions of dogs and cats are killed each year due to the lack of anyone to adopt them. Others endure horrendous lives as strays. Major cities such as Houston and Detroit have struggled with high numbers of stray animals. These dogs and cats not only face grueling lives, including abuse, but are a danger to residents and other animals.
It is immoral that the lives of companion pets are perceived as disposable. It is inexcusable that a nation of such abundance kills millions of pets each year, and accepts that others can “live” in shelters for years with little or no prospect of adoption.
Only people can prevent the problems that they create. Please, fix your pets.