Puppies and kittens are always adorable, no matter what the breed, and the companionship that they provide is one of the most precious things imaginable. I know that I can’t resist those puppy dog eyes or the chance to play with just about any of our furry friends.That being said, we as owners need to help control the pet population; in fact, the RSPCA shelters of Australia are often deluged with animals that are the offspring of other animals that haven’t been desexed.
Having pets desexed is very important for the health and happiness of Australia’s pet population. Not only is having your pet spayed or neutered great for controlling the number of strays that show up in Australia’s shelters, but having the procedures done for your cats and dogs can provide some lasting health benefits as well.
Health Benefits of Having Your Pet Desexed
Cats that haven’t been desexed can have problems later in life. Pyometra is a uterine infection that can threaten the lives of female cats and dogs. This condition is also very expensive to treat, especially compared to the low cost of desexing. Additionally, in male cats and dogs, prostate problems can arise when the animal is not desexed.
Additionally, as a general rule, cats and dogs that have been spayed or neutered have a tendency to live longer lives than those that have not.
Benefits for the Behaviour of Your Pet
The behaviour of puppies and kittens can also benefit from being desexed; female cats won’t yowl and go into heat, and male dogs also won’t feel the need to mark their territory with urine ALL THE TIME. Also, we all have seen a dog or two that becomes overly “affectionate,” which is why this type of procedure is so beneficial; your dog will no longer feel the need to engage in this behaviour.
Many owners also report that pets have gotten lost when they enter estrus because of a need to wander and mate. When a cat or dog has been desexed, this instinct is curbed, which reduces the chance of your cat or dog becoming lost or injured by a car or fall. This is especially true for breeds that spend a lot of time outdoors.
How it Benefits Your Community
Outside of pet health, there’s a lot of community benefit when you have your furry buddy desexed. Cats and dogs can definitely reproduce quickly; in fact, cats and dogs, if left to their own devices, can have more than 100 kittens and puppies in their lifetime. In Australia, there are 4.2 million dogs and 3.3 million cats, which make it easy to understand why the RSPCA shelters often have to take in 160,000 animals per year across Australia.
This isn’t a situation that’s tenable. During 2009 to 2010, it’s been estimated that more than 10,000 cats were euthanized in the nation. In that same period, about half of that amount of dogs were euthanized because of the fact that cats have a tendency to breed at a slightly faster rate than dogs.
This adds up to a lot of expense for the local communities that have to shelter, feed, and unfortunately, euthanize the sometimes feral animals.
Myths About Desexing Your Pet
One of the chief concerns expressed by owners is that the getting a dog or cat desexed will change their personalities. This is actually just a myth; most pets will be back to their same pleasant personalities within days of their operation, though you can expect some lethargy, general loopiness, and a need for attention for a few days as they heal from the surgery.
Another fairly persistent myth is that indoor pet owners don’t need to have the surgery because their puppy or kitten isn’t exposed to the outside world or other animals of their species. While this might mean that your cat or dog won’t have a litter, there’s always a chance of escapes or pregnancies by cats or dogs that you get in the future. Also, there are the aforementioned health benefits that can help your cat or dog become healthier and live longer.
Finally, it’s generally believed that this type of procedure will cause your pet to gain weight. This is also patently false; typically, it’s simple overfeeding that is the primary cause of this weight gain for desexed animals. To prevent weight gain, you’ll just have to regulate your furry pal’s diet.
The Best Stage of Life to Get Your Pet Desexed
Most vets will tell you that the best time for this type of procedure is when the animal is still relatively young; about four months old or older. This way, the recovery time is quick and it prevents any chance for the pet to accidentally have a litter. Additionally, early surgeries of this type are far less stressful for a younger pet and there is less of a risk of any form of complication during the procedure or during the recovery period.
So How Should I Go About Getting My Pet Desexed?
Across our great nation, there are several programs that can help you get your pet desexed. In fact, there’s even a National Desexing Month in July that can actually help bring down the cost of the procedure. Additionally, the network that runs this promotion also has applications in place that can help reduce the cost of this surgery.
As an animal lover, pet health is probably at the forefront of your thinking and helping manage the pet population should also matter a lot to you as well. Having your young cats and dogs desexed is going to make them happier and can extend their lives, so go out there, be a hero to the pets of Australia, and have your furry buddy desexed!