Spay / Neuter Awareness Month

New Pet Owners  •   Pam Karkow  •   Feb 22, 2019

Becoming a pet mom or dad is a responsibility not unlike becoming a human mom or dad, albeit on a smaller scale.  You will face some of the same hurdles: potty training, behavior modifications, socializing.  You will want the very best for your little ones, whether they’re human or furry.  And for those furry ones, one of the best steps you can take when your pet is still young, is to have her spayed.

The obvious reason for spaying is to avoid unwanted pregnancy, but did you know there is a whole list of ways your dog will benefit when you have her spayed?  Here they are, in no particular order…

 

Reduced risk of cancer

In the PetMD article, Setting the Record Straight on Spay and Neuter Myths, Dr. Susan Konecry, medical director for the Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah, explains the benefit of having a female dog spayed before she is allowed to go into heat for the first time.  “Spaying female dogs and cats before their first heat cycle eliminates their risk of ovarian or uterine cancer, and it also greatly reduces their risk of mammary cancer.” 

Avoidance of Pregnancy-Related Emergencies

Pregnancy can be risky for any animal, and allowing your dog or cat to become pregnant puts her at risk of serious issues, such as dystocia.  Dr. Holly Putnam, director of operations for Shelter Outreach Services in Ithaca, NY, explains one dangerous complication where puppies or kittens are unable to pass through the birth canal, resulting in a C-section, as an emergency you’ll surely want to avoid when possible.

Improvement of Behavior

The same thing that makes dogs so good at sniffing out narcotics in the airport, also allows them to be hot on the pursuit of a female in heat.  Male dogs can smell the scent of a female from a considerable distance, and will often go to great lengths to get to her, including engaging in destructive behaviors such as digging under a fence.  If you want to skip the drama of replacing your fence or constantly monitoring your female dog when she is out in public, it is a good idea to spay.

Less Cleanup and Maintenance

Female dogs and cats who have not been spayed experience menstruation, and unless you would like to spend most of your day cleaning up after her, you will have to invest in some protective garments for your pet.  Your pet’s heat cycle can begin as early as 6 months old and last for several weeks at a time.  Your female will also need to be kept at a distance from males, as the act of mating can occur when you simply take your eyes off your pet for a few moments.

Keep costs down

Just like a human mama needs extra care during her pregnancy, so does a dog or cat mama.  Vitamin supplements, higher quality dog food, regular vet checks, and the actual birth itself are all things that you will have to work into your budget.  The good news is, having your dog or cat spayed is included in PetPartner’s Wellness Plan.  The flexibility of this plan allows you to choose which benefits work best for you.  Their schedule of benefits allows for your choice of spaying/neutering your pet or a dental cleaning each year. You can utilize this plan by choosing to have your dog or cat spayed during the first year and then a dental cleaning each subsequent year.

 

Spay Day USA is coming up on February 26 this year.  In 1994, the Doris Day Animal League created this day, which is observed on the last Tuesday of February, to encourage animal population control.  This list of reasons makes it clear that spaying not only keeps our animal population in check, it also can keep your pet healthy and help you avoid unnecessary vet bills.  

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Pam Karkow

About the Author
Pam Karkow

Hi, I'm Pam. List maker, note taker, and avid reader. I'm married to my college sweetheart and we have three amazing kids, all of them boys. We also have one furry child, a golden retriever rescue dog. I have been blogging for PetPartners since 2015, and I love researching and writing tips about how to be a better pet parent. I spend most of my time sharing my adventures at lavenderandlaugh.com, where I share the ways I am learning to be a better wife and mom--to my two and four-legged children.