February is Spay and Neuter Awareness Month

Happy lady hugging a black cat.

According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter shelters every year in the United States, but this number doesn’t account for the animals that are left out in the streets, or passed from home to home. There are simply too many animals and not enough households able to care for them.

The most responsible thing that any pet owner can do is spay and neuter their pets. In honor of National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month, our team at Berkeley Veterinary Center is spelling out the reasons why. 

Why You Should Spay/Neuter Your Pet

Perhaps the most talked about reason for spaying/neutering pets is to control the pet population. But the benefits of spaying a cat and the benefits of spaying your dog include health and behavioral/lifestyle advantages, too. Read on to find out more!

Health Benefits of Spaying a Female Pet 

When a female is spayed, her uterus and ovaries are removed, which eliminates her chances of developing cancers in those organs. Plus, the procedure lowers her risk of the following:

  • Mammary cancer: Because hormones encourage the growth of some cancers, such as breast cancer, spaying a puppy or kitten prior to her first heat cycle significantly lowers her risk of developing mammary tumors.
  • Pyometra: Besides cancer in cats and cancer in dogs, a potentially fatal infection of the uterus called pyometra can occur in unspayed pets. 
  • Feline leukemia and feline AIDS: These cat-specific diseases are spread through the bites of infected cats. Since an intact female is more likely to battle over mates, she is at a higher risk of contracting one of these conditions.

Health Benefits of Neutering Your Male Pet 

When it comes to male pets, there are significant health benefits of neutering your dog or cat, including:

  • No testicular cancer: Since the testicles are removed during the neutering procedure, an altered male cannot develop testicular cancer. 
  • Lowered risk of prostate problems: The reduction in testosterone production as a result of neutering can decrease a male pet’s risk of prostate disease. 

Behavioral and Lifestyle Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

Spayed and neutered animals make better family pets for the following reasons:

  • Altered pets are less likely to “spray”
  • Altered pets are less aggressive
  • Mounting behavior is curbed
  • Unspayed females in heat make quite a mess—for up to 10 days
  • Unaltered males account for nearly 85 percent of dogs hit by cars
  • Spaying and neutering prevents unwanted pregnancies
  • It will save you the cost of treating a pet with certain cancers or having to care for a litter

Contact Us

We’re always thrilled to welcome new pets to our practice. Please request an appointment as soon as you adopt a new pet so we can discuss having your pet spayed or neutered.

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