World Spay Day is coming up on February 28, and we are so excited that Scarecrow Video asked to REPRESENT! Seattle Humane and let us quickly share the many health and behavioral benefits of spaying and neutering your pets, beyond reducing the homeless pet population, of course. While there are varying opinions regarding the age when spay and neuter surgeries should be performed, veterinary experts agree it will result in better behaved and healthier pets.
A female dog goes into heat roughly two times a year, which means they have the potential to give birth to up to two litters of puppies every year while a female cat can give birth to up to four litters in their seasonal heat cycle. Most of these unplanned litters will end up at an animal shelter. We are very lucky to have a state-of-the-art veterinary medical center here on campus, where our adoptable pets are spayed and neutered prior to going home. People can visit seattlehumane.org to schedule a spay/neuter for their pet, with scheduling opening the fourth Monday of every month for the following month.
The elevated estrogen levels produced by unaltered female cats and dogs contribute to not only uterine infections and cancers, but also greatly increase the risk of developing mammary cancer, which is often very aggressive and can spread quickly. In male cats and dogs, elevated testosterone levels can result in testicular and prostate cancers. Enlarged prostate glands can occur, which could cause difficulty passing urine.
A male dog can detect a female in heat from several blocks away and will go to great lengths and put themselves in even greater peril to get to them. This can result in your dog getting lost or seriously injured running into traffic. Performing neuter surgery prior to puberty in dogs can help to prevent unwanted behaviors, such as mounting other pets or people. Unaltered male cats are prone to spraying urine everywhere and getting into fights with other males when seeking a mate, which risks the spread of feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus.
Female cats will yowl incessantly when in heat and female dogs in heat will pass bloody fluid for about 10 days – about two times a year – so expect to be cleaning your carpets frequently.
There are so many benefits to spaying and neutering your pets and, if you haven’t done it yet, we hope this encourages you to make that call to your vet today!