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The Importance of Spay and Neuter

Here are 10 reasons you should have your pet spayed or neutered.

The Importance of Spay and Neuter

The Escondido Humane Society is proud to be part of Spay San Diego, a new and growing coalition consisting of a wide range of animal organizations dedicated to solving the challenge of pet overpopulation in San Diego County. The purpose of Spay San Diego is to help the community locate affordable assistance to spay and neuter their pets and avoid unwanted litters.

According to the Spay San Diego website, San Diego is currently experiencing significant pet overpopulation resulting in thousands of homeless and unwanted animals. Many people believe their pet’s puppies or kittens would never become homeless and unwanted animals. But the reality is that every time a dog finds its way under a fence to visit a neighbor’s female dog, or the indoor/outdoor cat returns home pregnant again, the result is a litter of dogs or cats.

Humane societies and animal rescues do their part to control pet overpopulation by spaying and neutering every pet before they are adopted into loving homes, but we need our community’s help.

So in honor of World Spay Day, which was Feb. 28, here are the top 10 reasons you should have your pet spayed or neutered (sources: Spay Neuter Action Project and ASPCA):

10. Your spayed female won’t go into heat: While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house. Female cats in heat will attract male cats in the neighborhood. They will linger near your house, howling to attract the female’s attention and spraying your walls with urine. Once your female cat is spayed, these problems stop.

9. Your male dog won’t want to roam away from home: An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate. That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males. A male, sensing a female in heat nearby, can break down doors and jump fences in his desire to mate, which can be very costly to fix.

8. Your neutered male will be much better behaved: Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.

7. Spaying or neutering will not make your pet fat. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not spaying or neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.

6. Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth: Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children—especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters. There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.

5. There are substantial financial benefits to spaying and neutering your pet(s): The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. Sterilization eliminates or reduces the urge to run away and the cost and worry of injuries and impounds. If you have ever had to go to an emergency hospital because your dog was in a dog fight, you are most likely aware of how costly that can be. And if you ever went through the misery of a lost dog, you know that in addition to the trauma to you and your family, impound fees need to be paid before you can take your pet home.

4. Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community: Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets.

3. Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life: Spaying your female pet prevents uterine infections and breast cancer.

2. Neutering provides major health benefits for your male: Neutering a male cat or dog by the age of 6 months prevents testicular cancer and prostate disease and helps prevent hernias. Sterilized pets tend to live at least two to three years longer than unsterilized pets.

1. Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation: Every year, we shelter more than 5,000 homeless and abandoned animals at our center alone, and millions more enter shelters across the country annually. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.

For more information about Spay San Diego and resources available in our community, visit http://spaysandiego.com/.

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