Spaying Female Dogs and Cats
Spaying is the process in which the uterus and ovaries are removed. This prevents the pet from having its heat cycle.
It is preferred that spaying take place at or after the female has reached 6 months of age for dogs and after 5 months of age for cats.
It has been proven that as female pets age, the risk of breast cancer and uterine infections are significantly higher in pets that have not been spayed; spaying prior to the first heat cycle will virtually eliminate the chance of either occurring. If you do not plan on breeding your pet, it is highly suggested that you spay her prior to her first heat cycle.
Spaying your pet offers several important advantages. The heat cycle for a female dog will result in approximately 2-3 weeks of vaginal bleeding and swelling. The heat cycle for a female cat will result in approximately 2-3 weeks of abnormal behavioral issues such as: increased vocalization, spraying urine, and rubbing against objects. Handling these cycles can become quite overwhelming. Males will be attracted from blocks away and, in fact, seem to come out of the woodwork and will overcome many obstacles to reach a female that is in heat. Despite many efforts, this will often result the female becoming pregnant. Once she reaches maturity, a female dog will have a heat cycle approximately every 6 months. A female cat will continue to have a heat cycle every 2-3 weeks until she is bred.
Neutering Male Dogs and Cats
Neutering is the process in which both of the testicles are surgically removed. Male dogs and cats will both go through significant personality and behavioral changes as they mature and neutering your pet will help to prevent these changes from becoming problematic. It is strongly suggested that neutering take place at or after 6 months of age for dogs and between 6-9 months of age for cats. Waiting until they reach this age will help to allow for proper hormonal development to occur but help to prevent them from obtaining unwanted behavioral habits. The longer unwanted behavioral habits continue, the less likely it is that neutering will help to correct them.
As male dogs age, the prostate gland frequently enlarges and causes difficulty urinating and defecating. Neutering will solve, or greatly decrease the chance of this occurring.
Neutering your pet offers several important advantages. An intact male will find almost any physically possible way to reach a female that is in heat. This can cause damage to your yard or home and can be potentially dangerous to your pet. Males that are not neutered are much more prone to fighting which can result in severe infections and abscesses. Male intact cats will consistently attempt to enlarge their territory and use very odorous urine to mark their territory; this odor can be very difficult to remove from your house.
If you plan on breeding your pet you should allow them to have 2-3 heat cycles first. This will allow her to physically mature make motherhood easier and less physically draining for her. Breeding your pet for the first time is not recommended after 5 years of age as this can lead to an increased risk of problems during pregnancy and/or delivery. Once your pet has had her last litter it is recommended to have her spayed to prevent reproductive issues that occur in older pets.