|Source: CSRA Humane Society|
Neutering refers to the removal of an animal’s reproductive organs and is a term used in reference to males, whereas spaying is used in reference to females.
Why Spay or Neuter?
Since TAGS is a rescue, most of the dogs and cats in our program have come from shelters. Shelters are brimming with unwanted dogs and cats—and to my surprise, many are puppies and young dogs! Pregnant female dogs or a litter of puppies can often be found at shelters due to an accidental breeding situation. Spaying or neutering your pet is the most effective way to help control the pet population and save animals from euthanasia in shelters.
Every year, thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized because there is simply not enough room for them in shelters. Additionally, several thousand animals from shelters every year are used for experimentation (research, teaching and testing) purposes. Although Ontario has laws to protect shelter animals from such a fate, there are other provinces where such laws do not exist to protect these vulnerable animals.
Spaying and neutering have several benefits for your pet’s health. Spaying females prior to their first heat cycle can eliminate the risk of breast cancer and prevents uterine infections and uterine cancer, thereby reducing veterinary costs. Neutering males helps reduce or prevent testicular cancer and enlargement of the prostate gland—also helping to reduce future veterinary costs. Additionally, neutering your male dog can help prevent undesirable behaviours such as marking, humping, male aggression and an urge to roam. Also, if you have more than one pet in your household, spaying or neutering will help all the animals in the house get along better.
One of the biggest issues around neutering an animal is the costs associated with the procedure. If you live in Durham Region, there are many veterinarians who provide an affordable service and will often give out their rates over the phone. Additionally, the Ontario SPCA provides spay/neuter services at a much reduced price—however, wait times for these spots are high, so I recommend getting on the wait list as soon as possible if you are considering going this route. Spaying and neutering can be done as early as eight weeks old; however, any time between eight weeks and six months is optimal, especially for females due to the beginning of their heat cycles.
There are many benefits to neutering your animal—but the biggest one is the ability to help save the lives of perfectly healthy but unwanted shelter animals. Do your part and help save a life!