If you’re a pet owner, an animal lover, or even if you have a friend with a pet, it’s very likely you’ve heard the words spay and neuter mentioned. February is coming to an end, and for a long time this has been considered the Spay and Neuter month.
On the last Tuesday of this month, people are encouraged to spread conscience about the importance of these activities, and we’re joining the campaign to help you discover what you should know about helping your animal companions.
Spay and Neuter: Myths and Facts
Although many people consider themselves animal lovers, most of them know little about how to take care of their pets or help other animals in need. One of the most important problems animal face nowadays is being able to survive in a world ruled by humans.
Domestic animals like dogs and cats have little chances of surviving when they’re left on their own in cities, and since they have quicker reproductive cycles, the number of feral animals can only increase as time goes by. These animals end up dying in the streets, or live for a certain time in shelters, where they’re eventually put down to make room for other wild animals.
The only solution is to encourage adoption, yet there are simply not enough homes for welcoming these pets, which is why controlling the population through spaying and neutering is vital. However, these practices are usually surrounded by myths, for example:
- Pets should have one litter before being spayed: Actually, pets should be spayed even before their first heat so they have a healthier life.
- Spayed pets are less protective: The protective instinct of animals does not depend exclusively of their sex hormones. Your pet’s personality traits won’t be altered by the procedure.
- Pets will feel less like a male or female: Animals don’t have a sense of gender identity, nor do they have sexual desires due to gratification or maternal/paternal needs. Animals only breed for the survival of their species.
- Spayed pets will gain weight and turn lazy: Even non-spayed pets can gain weight, since this depends on their diet and the amount of exercise they receive.
- They’re expensive procedures: In most places you can find a clinic with a low-cost program for spaying or neutering your pet. Since these practices can also improve the animal’s overall health, you’ll actually be reducing the amount of money you’ll invest in your pet in the future.
In the end, spaying or neutering your pet is the most responsible choice, since it ensures your animal won’t contribute to overpopulation, your animal will reduce chances of developing cancer and other infections, and it will help decrease behavioral problems such as spraying and aggression.
Tips for spaying and neutering your pets
So you’ve decided to spay or neuter your pet –now what? Well, now that you’ve given the first step towards de-sexing your animal, it’s time to take the right measures to ensure the procedure is not traumatic or dangerous for your animal.
Here are some tips for spaying and neutering your pet:
- Make an appointment with your vet: before setting a date for the procedure, take your animal to a general checkup with the veterinarian to ensure your pet is in optimal condition for the operation.
- Keep your pet calm: before going into the surgery, make sure your animal isn’t stressed or tense. Create a nice, calm environment for your animal, and make sure your pet feels happy and loved right before the surgery.
- Prepare your home for your pet: your animal won’t behave as usual after the surgery. Due to the anesthesia, your pet might lack balance and feel too tired, and it’s recommended that the animal stays away from other pets, as well as avoiding any hazardous activities. Prepare your home for when the two of you return: create a safe and comfortable place for your pet to rest and stay in while he heals.
- Follow the instructions: after the surgery is done, it’s very likely the veterinarian will give you a set of steps to follow, like checking up on your animal, keeping it away from other pets, etc. Don’t ignore any of the instructions! It’s vital for avoiding infections and ensuring the animal’s wellbeing.
- Contact the veterinarian if needed: although it’s normal for your pet to be groggy and nauseous right after the surgery, bleeding or long-lasting pain is not. If you notice anything strange about your animal’s behavior or the look of the incision, make sure you call the veterinarian for further instructions.
You might also like:
- Tips on how to be a responsible pet owner
- Pet Cancer Awareness Month: what you should know about your pet’s health
- Vector-borne diseases: what they are and how to prevent them
About. February: spay & neuter moth. http://cats.about.com/od/spayneuter/a/febsnmonth.htm
Cesar’s way. Spay and neuter myths. http://www.cesarsway.com/tips/basics/spay-and-neuter-myths
Humane Society. World Spay Day. http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/spay_day/
Operation Pets. After surgery – How to help your pet recover. http://www.operationpets.org/post_op.php3
Spay Neuter Clinic. Spay/Neuter aftercare instructions. http://www.spayaz.com/post-spay-neuter-aftercare-instructions/