There are many reasons that it is recommended to get your pet spayed or castrated. From health benefits, behavioral benefits, population control, and for legal reasons as well. By spaying/neutering your pet at an early age (Ideal age: 4-6 months old) you reduce their chance of them developing any of these issues completely.
Neuter/Castration- Male dogs are prone to developing testicular cancer by not neutering them due to the build up of unnecessary testosterone for the pet. A young male pet that has reached 12 months of age and has only one testicle present usually means that the other testicle is tucked away in the abdomen causing the pet be Cryptorchid. If this is the case for your pet then it is highly recommended to get your pet neutered because their chance of developing a tumor is increased 14 times compared to a descended testicle. There is usually an additional fee for a cryptorchid procedure due to the complexity of making an incision in the abdomen area to get access to the testicle. Another health benefit is reducing the chance of having any prostate problems. 80% of pets that are not neutered are likely to have an abnormally enlarged prostate, this effects the pet by having difficulty of urinating and having a bowel movement and can also lead to prostate cysts and prostate infections.
Spay/Ovariohysterectomy- Female pets that are not spayed (especially older pets) have a higher chance of developing mammary tumors, these are the most common malignant tumors found in intact female pets which is pretty much breast cancer like in us humans (50% of dogs, 90% of cats). Another health benefit to spaying your pet at an early age to decease their chance of getting a pyometra. What a pyometra is, is a very horrible infection in the uterus that is being caused by fluid build up with high amounts of bacteria with if left untreated can be fatal for your pet. Symptoms of pyometra are discharge of the vulva, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, and increased drinking and urination.
- Aggressive Behavior-Neutered pets are least likely to be aggressive since there has been a reduction of testosterone causing them to be less aggressive towards other pets and humans.
- Roaming/Running Away- An intact male can smell a female pet in heat from up to a mile away. When a male dog picks up on that scent his main instinct is to find that female dog causing them to run away and most dogs get lost and cannot find their way home.
- Spraying/Marking Territory- Intact males have at tendency to spray more often to mark their territory. It is very common for an intact house dog to spray and mark his territory inside the house causing a smelly mess at home.
- Sexual Behavior- Intact male pets are more likely to hump pretty much everything, from other dogs, to pillows, stuffed animals, and people’s legs.
- Aggressive Behavior- Pets that are spayed reduces their chances of being aggressive because their hormones have been reduced.
- Bleeding- Female dogs that are intact will have bloody discharge when in heat
- Running Away and Unwanted Pregnancies- Like male pet’s, intact females will also wonder and roam to find a sexual partner causing unwanted pregnancies for female pet owners. This can also cause them to get lost and not being able to find their way back home.
By spaying/neutering your pet you’ll help control the pet homelessness crisis which results in millions of healthy dogs and cats being euthanized in the United States each year simply because there aren’t enough homes to go around.
LEGAL REASONS (FOR NEVADA RESIDENTS)
In the state of Nevada, it is required to get your pet spayed/neuter. It is a law that was passed back in 2009 to help decrease the number of homeless pets and for health reasons too.