Spays and neuters are important preventive surgeries that benefit both dogs and cats in many ways. At Animal Care of Greenville, we highly recommend these surgeries for our patients in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies and litters, as well as life-threatening cancers in both males and females. Additionally, spay and neuter surgeries can have a positive effect on the community as a whole by:
Keeping the stray/feral animal population down
Reducing crowding in animal shelters
Helping more dogs and cats find loving homes
Does your puppy or kitten need to be spayed/neutered?
The Various Benefits of Spay and Neuter Surgery
What kind of impact does spaying and neutering have on dogs and cats?
- Significantly reduces the risk of mammary gland tumors, which are malignant 50% of the time in dogs and roughly 90% of the time in cats
- Prevents uterine and ovarian cancers
- Prevents female dogs and cats from having their heat cycle and unwanted pregnancies
- Keeps certain behaviors well under control, such as whining/caterwauling and roaming to find a mate
- Can mitigate hormone-fueled aggression in male dogs and cats
- Controls or prevents roaming, urine marking, and mounting behaviors
- Minimizes the risk for prostate health problems
- Prevents testicular cancer
At What Age Should My Pet be Spayed or Neutered?
On average, dogs and cats can be spayed/neutered at about 6 months. This is the norm for cats and small to medium-sized dogs. For large and extra-large breeds, we typically recommend waiting several more months, until your dog is 9-12 months old. Larger breeds need more time for their hormones to support their growth rate and ensure that their joints develop properly. A large or extra-large breed dog that is spayed or neutered too soon may be at risk for joint problems.
Overall, the most important factors are health and timing. Your pet must be in good health before undergoing surgery. Our team can help you figure out the best time for spaying or neutering your pet.
4 Common Spay and Neuter Myths to Disregard
Spay and neuter surgeries have been performed for decades, yet several myths still persist.
Spaying/neutering my pet will alter their personality.
You won’t have to worry about your pet emerging from their surgery with a different personality. What might change are some of their previous behaviors, such as spraying urine, humping the furniture (or guests), and getting overly excited when a male (or female in heat) walks by.
My pet will be prone to weight gain after their spay/neuter surgery.
While it is true that your pet’s metabolism will slow down when they reach adulthood (as it does for all of us), their weight should remain within the normal, healthy range granted they eat a balanced, properly-portioned diet and get regular exercise. If you have any concerns about your pet’s weight, though, please let us know so we can help!
Female dogs and cats should be allowed to have at least one litter.
There isn’t any evidence to suggest that having one litter of puppies or kittens will be beneficial to your pet. In fact, going through just one heat cycle can greatly increase your pet’s cancer risks. Ideally, your female pet should be spayed before their first heat cycle.
It’s far too expensive to have my pet spayed/neutered.
There are various costs that go into your pet’s spay/neuter surgery, but they cover the many things we do to make their surgery as safe and pain-free as possible. This includes giving your pet the proper anesthesia, administering pain relief, providing IV fluids, monitoring their vitals, and much more. Compared to raising a litter of puppies or kittens, a spay or neuter surgery is far more affordable. And you only need to pay for it once! If costs are a concern for you, don’t hesitate to contact us so we can assist you.