The Effects of Neutering and Spaying a Pet

When you adopt a puppy or kitten, you may receive a great deal of misinformation about the effects of neutering and spaying. Let's do a reality check and separate fact from fiction and discover the benefits of these procedures for the typical household pet.

Fiction: Females should be allowed to have at least one litter of puppies or kittens before being spayed.
Fact: If you have a female dog or cat spayed before her first heat cycle you are protecting her against mammary tumors. However, if you postpone this surgery until later in her life it does not provide this benefit. Early spaying also helps prevent the development of several reproductive tract diseases.

In female cats, the majority of mammary tumors become malignant so spaying provides an important lifesaving benefit. Spaying also eliminates uterine infections.

Fiction: A female is calmer, happier and more content if she has at least one litter before being spayed.
Fact: No evidence from behavioral research supports this belief. Some animal behaviorists suggest that this belief can be described as the "placebo effect." The owner expects that breeding will result in a behavior change and this expectation leads to the assumption that the behavior has improved.

Good care, proper nutrition and lots of love are the components that keep a pet, female or male, happy and content.

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