It's About Pets
loss
RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERSHIP

Print this page
E-mail this page


Pet Overpopulation

Most people are well aware of pet overpopulation. All non-breeding animals should be spayed or neutered—even rabbits, rats, and pot-bellied pigs.

Spaying is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus. Neutering is the surgical removal of the testicles. Both surgeries have been routinely performed for many years, and they are two of the most common surgical procedures performed in a veterinary hospital.

Pet overpopulation continues to be a significant problem today. A dog or cat can easily have two litters a year, and six to 12 puppies or kittens per litter during its 10 years of reproductive life. Even the most well-cared-for pets can escape from indoors, from a fenced yard, or from a leash, making the pet owner an unwitting participant in the problem of pet overpopulation.

Spaying or neutering can also provide direct health benefits for your pet, in addition to reducing pet overpopulation. Every time the female goes through a heat cycle, she is at an increased risk for mammary (breast) cancer and uterine infections. Spaying as soon as possible—before the first heat—is the best prevention. However, it is never too late; spaying a female animal of any age reduces its risk of cancer and of a recurrence of cancer once diagnosed.

Neutering your male pet also provides significant health benefits. It helps guard against testicular cancer and prostatic diseases and improves certain behaviors, including aggression, territoriality, urine marking, and wandering.

Spaying and neutering are one-time operations that will last for the life of your pet and help it live a long and healthy life.