By Mark Forrest Patrick, CDT VA
Many pet owners are challenged with the decision to have their pet spayed or neutered. This challenge is based on old myths and misconceptions associated with the surgery. While there is currently an over population of family pets, many of our shelters and rescue groups have to refuse the unwanted pets that show up at their door. Due to space limitations in our local shelters and rescue groups, euthanasia is increasingly the only option for unwanted pets.This ONE reason alone is enough for pet owners to have their pets spayed and/or neutered.
If you have adopted recently from an animal shelter or rescue group the one requirement that has been consistent is that the pet must be spayed or neutered prior to adoption. Let’s think about the importance of spaying and neutering your pets.
A spayed and neutered pet will typically live longer and have a healthier life. They will be better behaved and their disposition will be calmer. Every year approximately SIX MILLION animals are euthanized due to behavior problems. By spaying or neutering your pet this number would be reduced.
An altered male is less likely to mark territory or run away looking for a female. Another benefit of altering your pet is the reduction of cancer in the breast, testicular, uterine, prostate area. A spayed female eliminates the menstrual cycle and the unwanted behaviors of crying and nervousness along with the bleeding. Our pets do not have a sexual identity as human beings do. Your pet will not experience any type of change in identity or emotional stress from being altered.
If you are concerned about the weight gain, this is strictly a myth. You and your pet will be able to be more active because they will not have the drive to mark their territory or look for a mate. Your pet will be able to visit dog parks and day care facilities for play time.
Stray and feral animals often become a victim to the local wildlife (coyotes, fox, etc.) Taking responsibility to ensure your family pets are spayed and neutered will assist in controlling the local feral population.
Do you enjoy socializing your pet with other animals? Many facilities will not allow you to bring your unaltered pet to a day care, dog park or public events.
It is important that everyone takes the initiative and has their pet spayed and neutered. With the over-population in our local shelters euthanasia is becoming a daily routine and innocent puppies and kittens are not given the opportunity to know love. Love your pet and have them spayed or neutered. If you are concerned about the cost, contact your local shelter for low cost options available through the local shelters.
Mark Forrest Patrick is a Certified Dog Trainer, Veterinary Assistant and the owner of Tuxedo’s K9 Training Camp. Mark may be reached at www.tuxedosk9.com