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Friday, February 6, 2015

8 Really Good Reasons to Spay/Neuter Your Pet

Affordable Pet HealthCare Insurance - Your Pets Deserve it
 8 Really Good Reasons to Spay/Neuter Your Pet
February 4th, 2015 by Taylor Malowney
           Pet Parenting

Bob Barker pets

Bob Barker was famous for his parting words on the price is right promoting spay/neutering. Image via Creative Commons License on Flickr.

If Bob Barker hasn't drilled it into your head, “Remember, folks – always spay or neuter your pets!” Whether you’re bringing home a new fur baby or have an unaltered pet at home, read these really good reasons to spay or neuter.

But first, a quick recap of what it actually means to spay or neuter a pet. Spaying is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus in a female animal, while neutering refers to the surgical removal of the testicles in males. The surgery is typically painless and uncomplicated; pets are under anesthesia and it’s the most common surgery performed by vets.
You’ll have a healthy pet.
Cancers of the ovaries, uterus, breasts and testicles also occur in animals. Breast cancer is particularly aggressive, with a 50 percent fatality rate in dogs and 90 percent in cats. To put this in perspective, human breast cancer has a survival rate of around 90%. By removing these reproductive organs, you eliminate the chance of these conditions developing. 

It’ll be over before you know it, Fido! Spaying or neutering your pet is a common, painless surgery. Image via Creative Commons License on Flickr.
 Avoid “heated” animals.

As any pet parent of an unaltered pet knows, females go into “heat.” In an effort to attract mates, the ladies will yowl and urinate excessively. This typically occurs in the spring and summer and can continue throughout the year until pregnancy occurs. 
Prevent litters!
The most common reason pet parents spay/neuter is to prevent pregnancy. The cost of a spay/neuter is infinitely cheaper than raising a litter of puppies or kittens. Unwanted litters may be dumped or sold online; every spring animal shelters are overwhelmed with abandoned young animals. 

It’s a myth it creates lazy pets.

No one is to blame for an inactive, overweight pet but its caretaker! Spaying and neutering have long been rumored to make altered pets chunky and lazy. If you’re concerned about your pet’s weight, make sure he or she is getting enough exercise and eating healthy portion sizes. 

Prevent pet wanderlust. 

When female pets go into heat, their potential mates pretty much lose it. Male dogs and cats go girl-crazy and will do anything to get a date – including leaving the nest. Dogs have been known to dig under fences, jump gates and claw through doors in the “heat” of the moment. 

 Break bad behavior in boys. 

Boys will be boys – especially unaltered male pets. Male cats and dogs frequently “spray” to mark their territory, spraying extra-stinky pheromone-laden urine everywhere a potential rival can smell it. Neutering can also reduce other forms of behavioral aggression, helping your pet keep his cool. 

A promoting neutering your pets is very…eye-catching. Image via Creative Commons License on Flickr.
Help fight pet overpopulation!
By spaying or neutering your own pet, you’re helping the pet parents of unaltered animals as well. Outdoor cats in particular should be altered to prevent litters. By preventing fur babies, you’re also preventing homeless pets that will end up in shelters. 

Save money – and save lives. 

We talked before about the costs of having litters versus altering your pet, but what about the medical costs of unaltered pets? For example, a male dog who hasn’t been neutered is more likely to escape and get into all kinds of mischief, including eating 43 and-a-half socks, getting ticks, car accidents and more. He is also at a greater risk of testicular cancer; additionally, he won’t spray and ruin household items. 

All of the above can lead to great harm or even death. By spaying or neutering your pet, you can prevent these accidents and illnesses from occurring. You can also ensure no unwanted litters are born who may end up euthanized in a shelter or become feral. 

Spaying or neutering your pet is a win-win-win – for you, your pet and the world. 

We may be a little biased, being a pet insurance company, but we truly believe in the peace of mind it gives pet parents. Covering most non-preexisting conditions, a pet insurance policy ensures you'll never have to make hard decisions about your pet’s health. 

When the choice is between your furry family member and your finances, we all know which one we’d choose – but sometimes the choice isn't so easy. No pet parent should have to make that call, which is why we’re firm believers in the power of pet insurance.