Debunking Spay and Neuter Myths | PetFirst
Debunking Spay and Neuter Myths
Pet Care & Health

Debunking Spay and Neuter Myths

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
2 months ago

The month of February is recognized nationally as Spay and Neuter Awareness Month and aims to help bring awareness to the importance of spaying and neutering pets.

Spaying and neutering your pets is important. Each year, millions of dogs and cats are euthanized due to a shortage of loving homes, lack of shelter space, and resources6. By spaying and neutering your pets, you can help ward off the possibility of unwanted puppies and kittens while also reducing the risk of certain types of cancer7.

The procedures to spay or neuter a dog or cat are very common. However, many people have misconceptions about the process and how it works. Here are a few commonly-held beliefs about spaying and neutering that are not actually correct:

Myth: The surgery is painful

Some people think that spaying and neutering is painful or harmful to the animal. Of course during the procedure itself ,your pet will be under anesthesia. While there is some discomfort associated with the recovery — just like there would be with virtually any procedure or surgery — it shouldn’t last longer than a few days8

Spaying and neutering is not cruel and does not harm your dog or cat. In fact, the surgery is actually helpful! Neutering prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems in male dogs, while spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors.

Myth: It changes your pet’s personality

Spaying or neutering your pet will not change your cat or dogs personality. You might notice changes in your pet’s behavior after the surgery. For example, neutered male dogs are less prone to fighting and will generally slow or stop territorial marking. Dogs also tend to calm down after the surgery, showing less aggression than before. However, your pet’s personality will not change.

Myth: Older animals can’t be spayed and neutered

It’s best to spay and neuter animals when they’re young. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends sterilizing cats by the time they’re five months old and dogs between six months and 15 months, depending on their size9

However, this doesn’t mean the surgery is off the table for older dogs and cats. Older animals are sometimes spayed or neutered if they’re showing signs of cancer or infection. While the recovery time might be a little longer — say, a week or two instead of a few days — in most cases it’s still completely safe to do the procedure. 

Dogs and cats are part of the family, so be your pet’s healthcare advocate. Talk to your vet to see if spaying or neutering your pet should be completed for their health and wellbeing. 

Myth: Spaying and neutering is expensive

Depending on where you have the surgery done, the cost of your pet’s spay or neuter procedure is a lot less than the cost of caring for and vaccinating a litter of puppies or kittens throughout their lives. It’s also less expensive than the cost to treat an unneutered pet who suffers injuries from a dogfight or other injury sustained while roaming.

Here at PetFirst1, we know accidents and illnesses can happen to all pets. PetFirst Pet Insurancecan help cover unexpected vet visits2 and can provide peace of mind. PetFirst Pet Insurance1  has cat and dog insurance policies2 to fit every budget. 

Consider getting pet insurance for your furry friend today.


1PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst Pet Insurance” or “PetFirst”) is the program administrator authorized to offer and administer pet health insurance policies underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company, with its main office at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, or New Hampshire Insurance Company or The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, each with its main administrative office at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 60661. For costs, complete details of coverage, and a listing of approved states, please contact PetFirst Healthcare, LLC.

2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by PetFirst Healthcare, LLC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.  

6American Veterinary Medical Association: Spaying and neutering

7Rover: The important truth about spaying and neutering your dog

8BeChewy: The truth about spay and neuter surgery for puppies

9American Animal Hospital Association: When should I spay or neuter my pet?

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