The Three Most Common Myths About Spaying and Neutering from PetSmart Charities

PetSmart Charities, knows how important spay/neuter is for your pets. But, many pet parents still have misconceptions about the procedure. Here is some helpful information to help battle the most common myths and explains why it’s safe, necessary, and can help prevent unwanted litters that are currently contributing to the pet homelessness population.

Myth #1: It’s too expensive

PetSmart Charities offers an online spay/neuter services locator to find clinics that perform high-quality, affordable spay/neuter surgeries in your area. Go online to www.PetSmartCharities.org and click on Spay/Neuter.

Myth #2: My pets are never left unattended, so I have nothing to worry about

Half of U.S. pet owners who’ve had a pregnant dog or cat say the pregnancy happened “by accident,” according to statistics from PetSmart Charities. These accidental litters could be easily avoided by early spaying and neutering – you can never be too safe.

Myth #3: My pet is too young for this procedure

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, spaying and neutering is safe for puppies and kittens as young as eight to 10 weeks old. Spaying a female cat before her first heat cycle is more beneficial than waiting until a heat cycle has occurred.

There are also many health benefits of spay/neuter that people might not know, such as:

  • Reduced aggression: Cats and dogs that have been spayed/neutered are less aggressive than unaltered pets, which means fewer fights, less risk of contracting contagious diseases and lower vet bills.
  • Wandering:  Pets that aren’t fixed are more likely to stray away from home in search of a mate. Spaying and neutering reduces this urge, keeping your pet close to home and out of harm’s way.
  • Less marking: Dogs and cats mark with urine when they are trying to “claim” their territory—like your couch. After a spay/neuter operation, pets become less territorial, and this behavior decreases dramatically.
  • Fewer health problems: Pets that have been fixed are less likely to develop mammary and reproductive cancers, as well as some potentially fatal infections.

Sources: Philip Bushby, veterinarian and professor of shelter medicine at Mississippi State University; IPSOS Marketing survey (Nov. 2011).