Everyone reading this blog should know what spaying and neutering is, especially if they have seen “The Price is Right” at any time in the past. At the end of the game show, its host Bob Barker famously ended every episode by urging the viewers, “Help control the pet population, have your pets spayed or neutered.” This is very great advice, because it does in fact help control the pet population – which has gotten extremely out of control in the last few decades. Each year, millions of pets (the majority of them cats and dogs) are euthanized in shelters all over the country due to the overwhelming amount of stray, feral, and abandoned animals. Crammed to capacity, many shelters deem it necessary to use euthanasia as a method to combat the “pet overpopulation” problem which has been met by animal lovers everywhere with outrage, frustration, and endless activism efforts. Due to the amount of shelter animals desperately in need of homes, there is absolutely NO reason for a non-licensed and certified people to be breeding dogs or cats – intentionally or unintentionally. Besides being socially responsible, spaying and neutering has many other benefits as well:
1.Your Pet’s Behavior Will Change for the Better: There have only been positive effects on behavior as a result of spaying and neutering, which are all related to a general calming of the pet’s demeanor. After the removal of the sexual organs and glands, the hormones produced by those organs are not being created anymore, and they are therefore not messing with the animal’s personality. Females that aren’t spayed usually become agitated, hyper, and overwhelmed due to the effects of the estrogen being released by the ovaries. Her biological system is preparing her for looking for a mate, and stress/anxiety results because of her desires not being fulfilled. The same happens with males too, obviously, although in their case they can become extremely dominating, aggressive, and out of control from the amount of testosterone coursing through their body. They could either want to hump everything, attack other males, or both. It’s best to just avoid all of this strife, isn’t it?
2. Your Pet Will Not Want to Escape and Roam: One of the most common reasons why an animal escapes from their home – and is subsequently found roaming the streets – is because they are going through puberty, becoming physically and sexually mature enough to breed. As stated above, the animal’s bloodstream will be flooded with sex hormones that give them an instinctual drive to find a mate, and find them as soon as possible. Since they don’t have access to a mate inside of your house or on your property, they will seek them elsewhere however they can. Because all living creatures have the extremely powerful basic survival instinct, reproduction is a very strong force – when that force becomes too much to bear, the animal will break out of the house or yard at its first possible opportunity to fulfill its instinct. Of course, if it does fulfill its innate sexual and reproductive desires, it could result in a pregnancy which you do not want! It is obviously best to either spay or neuter them before they hit puberty, or right when they are hitting it.
3. You and Your Pet Won’t Be in Agony: If your pet goes through puberty and is looking, pacing, crying, etc. for a mate and is denied its natural function to copulate, it will be going through a lot of emotional and physical agony. The anxiety created by not being able to fulfill its instinctual and biological desire will drive it crazy, to be simple. Think about something that you desperately feel compelled to do such as getting a job, or buying something you really want; now imagine not being able to get it no matter what you do, and multiply that by a thousand and you’ll get an idea of the mental strain that the animal is going through. Not to mention, the physical discomfort and mess of the female going into heat, and the male feeling the need to mark his territory everywhere. Additionally, all of your pets are much more likely to get along if they are all spayed or neutered.
4. Your Pet’s Physical Health Will Benefit: As if the behavioral benefits weren’t enough, there are actual physical benefits to your pet being spayed or neutered as well. In females, spaying her before her first heat cycle eliminates the risk of breast cancer, uterine infections, and uterine cancer. In males, testicular cancer is prevented as well as the enlargement of the prostate (and possible tumors). In males and females, urinary tract infections are greatly reduced also, and there are a number of studies that are finding other possible health benefits as well, including prevention of hernias, and a number of other cancers and infections.
5. You Will Be Fulfilling Your Social Responsibility: As stated in the beginning of this post, there is absolutely no shortage of domesticated animals in our society. Every year, between 4 and 7 MILLION homeless animals are “put to sleep,” and many of these poor souls are denied their life solely based on the fact that the shelters are overcrowded, underfunded, and are unable (or unwilling) to employ life-saving/no-kill programs. Although there are many progressive shelters paving the way in terms of life-saving techniques and community outreach efforts (such as the shelter in Austin, Texas), many shelters are dealing (unsuccessfully) with the so-called “pet overpopulation problem” by euthanizing hundreds of animals per month. Why contribute to the enormous amount of animals already out there in need of homes (and resulting euthanasia), when you could just adopt one of them? There is no “need” for your pet to “feel what it’s like to be a parent” as some claim – there is no biological benefit to breeding your animal. There is no “masculinity” or “femininity” that is being compromised by your pet being spayed or neutered, and there is definitely no risk for extinction of dogs and cats – yes, some people actually think that dogs and cats can become extinct one day which is absolutely absurd.
There are are so many reasons to spay and neuter your pet, that it should seem like a no-brainer to have your pet’s reproductive abilities taken away for their own good. Although you may feel like your pet is special and amazing (which is probably the case), you do NOT need to contribute to the widespread pandemic of pet homelessness in America. By breeding your animal, you are not only putting it at risk health-wise and safety-wise, but you are putting them (and yourself, to some degree) through a lot of unnecessary pain and strife. There is NO NEED for anyone to be breeding dogs at this point in time, so please do your part and spay and neuter your pet! If you cannot afford to have the procedure done, research to find low-cost spay and neuter programs in your area. There are many clinics that offer discounted spaying and neutering, as well as mobile spay/neuter initiatives.