It may seem too early to think about your puppy or kitten growing into an adult and parenting puppies or kittens of its own, but by 6 months of age, most young pets are ready to become parents!
Unless you are really serious about breeding your pet (it's a lot of work and expenses), we suggest that you spay or neuter your pet at around 5 – 6 months of age, or even later for large to giant breed male dogs. There are many benefits to spaying and neutering!
Things to Consider:
- Females in heat (estrus) often attract a yard full of adoring males. Cats may come into heat every few weeks during mating season until they are either spayed or mated. Female dogs will have a bloody vaginal discharge while they are in heat for 2-3 weeks. Spaying and neutering will prevent the heat cycles.
- Unspayed males often develop aggressive tendencies toward other males and may receive severe bite wounds from fighting. They may run away for weeks at a time and may urinate in the house and on furniture to "mark" their territory.
- Older, unspayed female pets are prone to developing tumors and infections of the reproductive tract and mammary glands. Older, unspayed male dogs are at risk of developing prostate problems, cancer of the reproductive tract and hernias.
- Unwanted puppies and kittens are a very serious problem in Massachusetts. Shelters are overcrowded with homeless animals and do well to place one or two of every 10 animals. The others, unfortunately, must be humanely euthanized. Pets abandoned as strays may starve to death, die of disease, or become public nuisances. Spaying and neutering helps control this stray population.
- Spaying or neutering is a surgical procedure that requires anesthesia. A young, healthy pet with an undeveloped reproductive tract is a much better surgical candidate and a lower anesthetic risk than an older pet, often troubled with other medical problems.
We hope that you will choose to spay or neuter your pet. We feel this is such an important decision that we are happy to help reduce the financial burden for our clients. The fees that we charge at Linwood Animal Hospital for spaying or neutering young, healthy pets include a substantial reduction off our regular fees.
If you have questions, or would like to schedule a spay or neuter for your pet, please call us at (978) 453-1784.