Spay and Neuter Awareness Month | PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

Spay and Neuter Awareness Month

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
4 weeks ago

If you just added a new pet to your family, you are likely making many decisions for your new addition.  

One of the most important decisions you will make for your pet involves spaying or neutering your new puppy or kitten.

In the spirit of Spay and Neuter Awareness Month (February), here is some information about the benefits of spaying and neutering your pets.

Reduction in pet overpopulation

According to The Humane Society of The United States, between 6 and 8 million homeless and unwanted animals enter shelters every year.  

Less than half of these animals will leave the shelter through the front door with a loving, adoptive family.  The rest will be euthanized.

That is more than 2.7 million animals euthanized each year as a result of pet overpopulation.

These are healthy, companion animals, most of whom would make wonderful pets in the right homes.

Medical/health benefits of spaying/neutering:

  • Your pet will live longer
    A 2013 article in USA Today cited a study which found pets who live in states with the highest spay and neuter rates also live the longest lives.

 

  • Your pet will be healthier

 

Spaying female cats and dogs greatly reduces their risk of uterine infections, breast tumors, and some cancers.

Neutering your male pet helps prevent testicular cancer and prostate issues.

Signing up for pet insurance in your pet’s earliest years helps to protect them for accidents and illnesses that might occur.

  • Spaying/neutering is cost effective

The cost of spaying/neutering your pet is significantly less than the cost of caring for and vaccinating a litter of puppies or kittens.

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.

Some pet insurance policies offer wellness plans which include sterilization as a covered procedure.  

PetFirst’s Routine Rider Coverage options help you pay for portions of preventative care which can include spaying and neutering.Behavioral benefits of spaying/neutering:

Spaying/neutering eliminate unwanted pet behaviors without changing your pet’s personality.

  • A neutered dog will be less inclined to roam

 

Unneutered male dogs are on constantly on the search for a mate.  This quest will lead them to find ways out of the house and yard.

A roaming dog risks being hit by a car, becoming lost, and fighting with other animals.

 

  • A spayed cat will not go into heat
    When female cats go into heat, they need to let their male counterparts know they are seeking a partner.  To do so, they will often yowl and urinate.

Additional behavior problems that are improved by spaying/neutering:

 

  • Dog aggression – including fighting with other dogs or displaying aggression toward humans.
  • Constant barkingMounting and other behaviors designed to show dominance.
  • “Marking” in male dogs – otherwise known as urine-marking occurs when the unneutered dog lifts his leg to “mark” his territory.

 

Urine-marking, though commonly associated with male dogs, can be a problem with female dogs too.  Spaying usually eliminates the problem.

  • “Spraying” and “Marking” in cats – according to The Humane Society, neutering male cats resolves 90 percent of marking problems.

When should you spay/neuter your pet?

Currently, many veterinarians recommend owners spay and neuter their pets between six and nine months of age.  However, research indicates there may not be any scientific reason to wait that long.

Some studies suggest saying/neutering your pet by four months of age may be better for you and your pet.

Some veterinarians argue that the younger the pet, the faster he/she will bounce back from the procedure.  

Sterilizing pets earlier also prevents them from developing negative behaviors such as spraying and mounting.

Why spay/neuter earlier?

It may sound surprising, but your pets can have babies when they are still babies.

  • Cats can have their first heat as young as four months old.

  • Similarly, dogs can have their first heat between five and six months old.
  • Fifty percent of litters are not planned.

The most compelling reason to spay and neuter your pets:

Sterilized pets cannot give birth to litters of puppies and kittens who will spend their lives in overcrowded animal shelters.

If an accident or illness does occur, you can make sure that your pet is covered with PetFirst Pet Insurance. Get a quote today.

Guest Blogger: Lauren Lee

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