Why Spay and Neuter
“Spay or neuter my pet. . .
“Why would anyone want to do that?”
Well, there are about 5,000,000 good reasons.
“Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats).” – ASPCA
A fertile (unaltered) female dog produces an average of 1 litter of puppies/year. The average litter is between 4-6 puppies.
Who should breed?
Unless your motivation is to improve the breed, don’t breed your pet. Money is not a good reason. There are lots of better ways to make a buck. A high percentage of the unwanted dogs euthanized by shelters are purebreds.
Teaching your kids the facts of life is not a reason to breed your pet. What will you do with the puppies or kittens that you can’t find homes for?
What is spaying/neutering?
Spay is a medical procedure done by a veterinarian that makes a female dog or cat incapable of reproducing.
Neuter (castration) is the equivalent procedure for males.
At what age should you spay or neuter your pet?
It is recommended that female kittens are spayed by 6 months of age or before their 1st heat cycle. Females can be spayed as early as 8 weeks.
Male cats: 5 1/2 – 9 months.
The recommendation is to spay or neuter puppies by 4 months old – before they are sexually mature.
Female dogs can go into heat as early as 6 months of age. Dogs are generally capable of reproducing by 12 months of age.
Puppies can be spayed or neutered as early as 6 weeks old. Male puppies need to wait until both testicles are descended before being neutered.
What to do?
Consult your veterinarian.
Photo of mother cat and kittens courtesy of Keith Levi