By Emily Phillips
La Plata County Humane Society
Winter may be in full swing, but soon enough, spring will be knocking on our doorstep and trying to knock up your furry companion.
February is national spay/neuter awareness month, and we love to spread awareness about the importance of, and the life-saving benefits to, spaying and neutering your pets. Not only is it highly cost-effective, but it has both medical and behavioral benefits as well.
Here is a list of benefits, myths and misconceptions about this commonly performed surgery:
Medical benefits: Your female pet will live a longer and healthier life. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and tumors. Neutering prevents testicular cancer and prostate problems. Behavioral benefits: Your spayed female pet will not go into heat. No more yowling for mates, urinating (sometimes in the house) and bleeding. Your male pet is less likely to roam away from home. Intact males will do just about anything to find a mate, even if it means risking injury. Your neutered male may be better behaved. He might be less inclined to mount other dogs, people or mark their territory in the house. Spay/neuter myths and misconceptions: Spaying or neutering will not cause your pet to become overweight. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to gain those extra pounds. Neutering is not a quick fix for all of your pet’s behaviors. Neutering often reduces undesirable behaviors caused by higher levels of testosterone, but there is no guarantee your pet’s behavior will change after he’s neutered. There are many benefits to spaying and neutering. It’s much less expensive to spay and neuter than to raise a litter of kittens or puppies. By being a responsible pet parent, you are also helping to control the homeless pet crisis in our county and country.
One of the programs we offer at LPCHS is our monthly low-cost spay and neuter clinics that provide pet parents peace of mind at an affordable cost. You can also get your pets up to date on their vaccines and have them microchipped for an additional low cost.
So before spring comes knocking, prevent that litter, as well as other health and behavior risks, and spay/neuter your critter.
Emily Phillips is marketing and development coordinator for La Plata County Humane Society.