To Neuter or not to Neuter?
What does neutering mean?
Neutering is a simple operation that prevents male and female pets from reproducing by removing their sexual organs – for males it is called ‘castration’ and for females the operation is called ‘spaying’. Both are routine procedures carried out under general anaesthetic.
Why should I neuter my pet?
Neutering is a humane way to reduce the stray dog and cat population, preventing thousands of unwanted puppies and kittens being born each year that may be cruelly abandoned or needlessly destroyed. There are also many health benefits to neutering your pet. There are lots of reasons why it’s nicer to neuter:
- Neutering encourages calmer, more predictable behaviour – making more suitable family pets.
- It can help reduce aggressive and unwanted sexual behaviour, preventing fighting, mounting and being destructive. Dogs and cats that have been neutered are also less likely to mark their territory or stray.
- Female dogs usually come into season for about three weeks, twice a year. Whilst in season a bitch may act strangely – trying to run away in search of a mate and needing to be kept away from male dogs. Spaying will prevent this.
- Male dogs’ behaviour can also change greatly when a local bitch is in season – they may be desperate to escape, even running into busy roads or jumping from high windows.
- Pregnancy can cause significant health risks to your pet, causing her discomfort and to behave oddly. Neutering also avoids the inconvenience and mess of having seasons.
- Early neutering can reduce the risk of some cancers developing in later life for both male and female dogs. It also stops bitches suffering from potentially fatal womb infections (known as Pyometras).
- Neutering prevents the unnecessary costs of unplanned pregnancies and raising puppies. Plus, by preventing accidents caused by unruly behaviour, costly vets’ bills can be avoided.
Ask your local veterinary practice for more information on neutering. Many vets often have offers on throughout the year with money off neutering, and there are many charities which may offer you money towards neutering and can provide vouchers to neuter stray cats and dogs for free.
Student Veterinary Nurse