The decision to have your pet spayed or neutered is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a pet parent.
In terms of benefits, it’s also the best decision you can make for their well-being. Spaying or neutering your pet is an essential part of responsible pet parenting.
In this post, we outline 4 reasons why it’s always necessary to spay or neuter your dog or cat, the benefits of spaying and neutering, and when the best age is to get your cat or dog fixed.
Reason #1 Help your pet’s health
One benefit to spaying and neutering a dog or cat is it helps your pet live a longer and overall healthier life.
A female dog or cat will live a longer, healthier life if spayed. Spaying helps to prevent uterine infections and some cancers. Your female pet should be spayed prior to going into heat for the first time for the best protection from diseases, however, spaying them anytime is better than not at all.
Neutering a male dog or cat has health benefits, mainly preventing testicular cancer and other reproductive cancers. While rare in male cats, testicular tumors are most commonly found in unneutered male dogs.
Reason #2 Prevent pet homelessness
Fixing your dog or cat can help prevent the overpopulation of pets.
In the United States, for every human born, there are seven puppies and kittens born, and the reality is there aren’t enough homes for these animals. Sterilization is the most effective method for pet population control.
When pets are unable to breed, they’re not reproducing animals that may end up in shelters or worse, euthanized. Consider getting your dogs and cats spayed to stop pet overpopulation.
Reason #3 Reduce pet care costs
Another benefit to spaying or neutering your dog or cat can actually save you money in the long run.
Costs for caring for a pet with cancer can run into the thousands, several times as much as routine spay or neuter surgery. By having your dog or cat fixed, you’re saving money in potential long-term costs.
Preventative care, (including spay and neuter surgeries), is one way to save money on vet care throughout your pet’s life.
In addition, many counties in the U.S. charge higher rates for licensing fees for unaltered pets, saving additional money that way as well.
Reason #4 Curb bad animal behavior
A final reason for neutering and spaying your pet? Fixing a dog or cat helps your pet behave better - particularly for males.
Unaltered dogs and cats may exhibit several behavioral problems that will be helped, if not completely cured if they’re spayed or neutered.
For example, male dogs who are not neutered are generally more aggressive and “mark” with their urine.
Cats have the urge to spray if they’re not neutered or spayed. Having your pet fixed solves 90% of these marking tendencies in both cats and dogs.
Furthermore, having your furry buddy spayed or neutered can reduce or stop their urge to roam away from home, fight with other males, bark or cry excessively, and find a mate to mount.
When is the best time to spay or neuter my pet?
Is there a time that’s best to fix your dog or cat? Spaying and neutering pets can depend on the age and gender of a cat or dog. Here is some information on the ideal age to spay or neuter your pet.
- The best time to spay female cats is before she reaches 5 months of age.
- For female dogs: the ideal age to have female dogs spayed is after they stop growing and before the first heat (ideally, 9 to 15 months depending on their size and breed).
- For male dogs: 6 to 9 months is the appropriate age to neuter.
If you’re getting a new puppy or kitten, consider spaying or neutering them as an early symbol of your love for them. Mobile pet vets are a great, convenient way to neuter or spay your new furry companion.
Get Insurance That Covers Spaying and Neutering
If you already have a pet that needs to be sterilized, call your vet today. With pet insurance, you’ll save money on future costs, protect your pet from illness, and curb bad behavior. Check out Spot's Platinum Preventive Care,* which reimburses for routine care including spay and neuter procedures.
*Preventive care is available as an add-on to an Accident & Illness plan for an additional cost.