Beyond Birth Control: The Additional Benefits Of Spaying And Neutering Pets

Posted on: 29 March 2016

The most obvious benefit of spaying and neutering your pet is to keep it from reproducing incessantly. However, there are added bonuses that will save you and your home from a lot of unpleasant behaviors, and may even save your pet's life.

Behavioral benefits to spaying and neutering your pet

When a pet reaches sexual maturity, instinctual drives cause your pet to engage in destructive and dangerous actions. Neutering or spaying your pet can minimize or eliminate these traits.

Intact male pets

The mating instinct is so strong in male pets that they will disappear for days when they pick up the scent of a female in estrus. Fighting for dominance will ensue, which can result in torn ears, eye injuries, or painful abscesses, which are infections under the skin that result in swelling and inflammation, as well as death in serious cases.

Interactions with other dogs or cats, particularly feral animals, can result in parasite infestations as well as the spread of viral and bacterial infections.

It is confrontations with vehicles that pose the most serious and deadly threat. Intact male pets will dash across busy streets in pursuit of a female with complete disregard of traffic.

Intact male pets will also tend to be more aggressive even without the extra provocation of a female in estrus, possibly leading to unprovoked fighting with other males who stray into their domain.

Dogs will mark their perceived territory with urine, while male cats will spray a mixture of urine and anal gland secretions onto walls, curtains, and furniture.

Intact female pets

Female dogs will go into estrus (heat) twice or more per year, depending on the breed ,and the cycle lasts for up to one month. Female cats will go into "heat" much more often, approximately every 3-4 weeks during the seasons of prolonged daylight (Spring until Fall).

Intact females may cry incessantly, and release a vaginal discharge that creates a stain or carpets and furniture. They may also run out of an open door in search of a mate, exposing themselves to all the dangers mentioned for male pets during mating.

They will also attract intact males to your home, who will mark everything in sight with urine or cat spray, fight for dominance, and regale the neighborhood with song all night long as they attempt to call the female outside to mate.

Health benefits of spaying and neutering

Female pets face a much lower risk of developing pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus, and cancers of the ovaries and uterus. Male pets have a lower risk of developing testicular and prostate cancer as they grow older.

All of these issues, plus the knowledge that you are preventing additional unwanted animals from being born, offer enough incentives to spay and neuter your pets. For more information, contact a company like Covington Veterinary Hospital PC.