All You Need to Know About Spaying and Neutering Your Pets

Dog and cat owners are often encouraged to get their pets spayed or neutered. But what does this actually mean, and why are these surgical procedures important? Read on to discover the reasons and benefits for spaying/neutering your pets.

What is the difference between spaying and neutering?

Spay and neuter are common terms that refer to different surgical procedures.  In the United States, a “spay” is an Ovariohysterectomy, a surgical procedure involving the removal of both ovaries and uterus from the animal.  On the other hand, a “neuter” is a Castration which involves the removal of both testicles from the animal.

What is the best age to spay/neuter dogs and cats?

The “best” age to spay/neuter depends greatly on the breed and adult weight of your pet.  For dogs with an adult weight of over 50 pounds, it is recommended that you spay/neuter between 8 months and a year.  For dogs with an adult weight of less than 50 pounds, it is advised to spay/neuter between 6 and 8 months.  For cats, the best age to spay/neuter is between 4 and 6 months of age.

What are the medical advantages of spaying/neutering? Why is this good for my pets?

Removing the reproductive organs of your pet greatly decreases the chances of your pet developing reproductive cancers and disorders that include (but are not limited to) Pyometras, Mammary Cell Carcinomas, Testicular Selimona, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, and Prostatitis. 

Do cats and dogs live longer once they are spayed/neutered?

If the individual pet would have been one of the many to develop a reproductive-related disease or cancer, having them spayed or neutered will greatly increase their life-span.  On average, most spayed and neutered pets live longer than intact animals because the chances of them developing some severe reproductive disease is lower.

Do dogs and cats become less active after being spayed/neutered?

After you spay/neuter an animal their hormonal drive to seek out a mate, guard their territory, and mark their territory is removed.  Depending on the age of sterilization, these behaviors may decrease to a great degree or not at all; even though they are originally spurred by hormones, it becomes learned as well.  It’s important to mention that an animal’s base metabolism will decrease after sterilization because the body will be burning less calories for maintenance.  Many animals will need less food to maintain body weight after sterilization.

And if you have any questions, feel free to call us at Carrollton Animal Hospital at (330) 627-4898 or send us an email at!

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