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Myths and Facts about Spaying and Neutering

(provided by Bristol Humane Society, Margaret B. Mitchell Spay/Neuter Clinic

Why Spay Neuter brochure)


MYTH: My pet will get fat and lazy.

FACT: The truth is that most pets get fat and lazy because their owners feed them too much and don't give them enough exercise. An animal that is spayed or neutered at an adult age may experience a reduction in metabolism so it is important to ensure proper calorie intake for the" first 6 months after surgery.


MYTH: It's better to have one litter first.

FACT: Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier and have reduced possibility of developing breast cancer.


MYTH: My children should experience the miracle of birth.

FACT: Even if children are able to see a pet give birth-which is unlikely, since it usually occurs at night and in seclusion-the lesson they will really learn is that animals can be created and discarded as it suits adults. Instead, it should be explained to children that the real miracle is life and that preventing the birth of some pets can save the lives of others.


MYTH: But my pet is a purebred.

FACT: So is at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country. There are just too many dogs and cats-mixed breed and purebred.


MYTH: I want my dog to be protective.

FACT: Spaying or neutering does not affect a dog's natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog's personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.


MYTH: I don't want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.

FACT: Pets don't have any concept of sexual identity or \ ego. Neutering will not change a pet's basic personality. He doesn't suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.


MYTH: But my dog (or cat) is so special, I want a puppy (or kitten) just like her.

FACT: A dog or cat may be a great pet, but that doesn't mean her offspring will be a carbon copy. Professional animal breeders who follow generations of bloodlines can't guarantee they will get just what they want out of a particular litter. A pet owner's chances are even slimmer. In fact, an entire litter of puppies or kittens might receive all of a pet's (and her mate's) worst characteristics.


MYTH: It's too expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.

FACT: The cost of spaying or neutering depends on the sex, size, and age of the pet, your veterinarian's fees, and a number of other variables. But whatever the actual price, spay or neuter surgery is a one-time cost-a relatively small cost when compared to the cost of caring for a litter and ensuring the health of the mother and litter. Most importantly, it's a very small price to pay for the health of your pet.


MYTH: I'll find good homes for all the puppies and kittens.

FACT: You may find homes for all of your pet's litter. But each home you find means one less home for the dogs and cats in shelters that need good homes. Also, in less than one year's time, each of your pet's offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population.


Why you should spay or neuter your dog or cat?


Spaying or Neutering Is Good for Your Pet

* Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.

* Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of health problems that can be very difficult or expensive to treat.

* Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when your pet is spayed before her first estrous cycle.

* Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.

* Spaying and neutering makes pets better, more affectionate companions.

* Neutering cats makes them less likely to spray and mark territory.

* Spaying a dog or cat eliminates her heat cycle.The heat cycle in dogs lasts about three weeks and occurs twice a year. A cat's heat cycle lasts for multiple days, two to three times a year. Females in heat can cry incessantly, show nervous behavior, and attract unwanted male animals.


Spaying or Neutering Is Good for You

* Unsterilized animals often exhibit more behavior and temperament problems than do those who have been spayed or neutered.

* Spaying and neutering can make pets less likely to bite.

* Neutering makes pets less likely to roam the neighborhood, run away, or get into fights.

Spaying or Neutering is Good for the Community

* Communities spend millions of dollars to control unwanted animals.

* Irresponsible breeding contributes to the problem of dog bites and attacks.

* Animal shelters are overburdened with surplus animals.

* Stray pets and homeless animals get into trash containers, defecate in public areas or on private lawns, and frighten or anger people who have no understanding of their misery or needs.

* Some stray animals also scare away or kill birds and wildlife.

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