Responsible Pet Ownership – Spay/Neuter Your Pet
There’s a lot to do for first-time pet parents. From figuring out the best kind of food to feed your animal to ensuring they’re up to speed on their vaccinations, it can be overwhelming to make sure you’re taking every step to keep your pet happy and healthy. An important part of this process is visiting your local veterinarian or animal clinic to have your fur-baby spayed or neutered, and our friends at the Animal League Wellness Center are here to walk you through everything you need to know.
Spay vs. Neuter
The difference between spay and neuter comes down to the gender of the animal. Both terms refer to the surgical sterilization of an animal, but sometimes neuter is used for both genders. Spaying involves removing the uterus and ovaries of a female animal, and neutering removes the testicles of a male animal. This procedure ensures your animal won’t reproduce, and helps reduce pet overpopulation.
Why should I spay or neuter my pet?
Spaying or neutering your pet benefits both your animal and your community. According to the ASPCA, animals who have been spayed or neutered are typically less aggressive since their instinct to mate has been eliminated. Many unwanted behaviors such as fighting, roaming, spraying, and crying will go away after surgery, and most pets become even more affectionate to their owners. Additionally, spaying females prevents breast cancer and eliminates both uterine infections and cancer, and for males, neutering reduces the chance or testicular cancer and prostate problems.
Everyone loves cute and cuddly puppies and kittens. Why wouldn’t the world want more? The reality is there are only so many people who want to have a pet, and most animal shelters are already reaching their capacity to care for homeless pets. By spaying or neutering your pet, you are helping to reduce overpopulation in these shelters, and giving other animals a chance to find their forever homes.
When should I spay or neuter my animal?
To decide an accurate time to spay or neuter your pet, you should reach out to an animal hospital and veterinarian to determine this for your animal. According to the ASPCA, puppies are typically spayed or neutered between six and nine months, but can be as young as eight weeks if your veterinarian decides they are healthy. Cats are usually spayed or neutered any time between eight weeks and five months old.
What is the cost to spay or neuter my dog or cat?
The Animal League Wellness Center offers low cost spay and neuter services for your dog or cat. The cost depends on what type of animal you have, their size, and gender, and a complete spay/neuter price breakdown can be found here.
To give you an idea, at our animal hospital, the total cost to spay or neuter a dog could be estimated between $55 and $130, depending on the size and needs of your animal. While the cost to spay or neuter a cat can range between $30 to $70, also depending on the needs of your cat during and after the surgery. These prices are estimates, and you will need to contact the Animal League Wellness Center and talk to a veterinarian for an accurate price reflecting exactly what your pet will need.
While there will always be a cost associated to spaying and neutering, the benefits are worth it – both to you and your pet. Before you adopt an animal, it’s important to consider these costs into your budget, so that you can be a responsible pet parent.
To learn more about how to have your pet spayed or neutered, schedule an appointment at the Animal League Wellness Center.