Many households in the United States have dogs, cats, or in some cases, both. While some individuals and families may choose not to spay or neuter their pets, this is the only type of birth control for them that is 100% effective. When owners realize the importance of their pet having this procedure, then they can contact a local spay and neuter clinic for more information.
The American Pet Products Association conducted a survey on spaying and neutering cats and dogs. Between 2015 and 2016, for example, 86% of pet dogs and 90% of pet cats were either spayed or neutered. It’s important to know that once they reach two months old, both kittens and puppies are old enough to have this procedure. While this may seem young, both dogs and cats can become pregnant as early as five months old.
According to SpayUSA.org, it’s recommended that dogs and cats be spayed prior to having their first liter. Once fertile, dogs can give birth to about two liters every year. On average, they may have six to ten puppies in a liter. When a female cat isn’t spayed, she can have up to 4,948 kittens over the course of seven years.
There are a variety of benefits to taking dogs and cats to a spay and neuter clinic for this procedure. According to AmericanHumane.org, dogs and cats that have been neutered or spayed tend to live longer and have healthier and happier lives. Spaying, for example, can eliminate the behaviors associated with a cat or dog when they’re in heat. Female cats tend to cry and pace when in heat, and dogs tend to whine and engage in other behaviors.
When male dogs and cats are neutered, AmericanHumane.org indicates that this can also help to avoid a list of sexually-oriented behaviors. This includes marking their territory with urine and engaging in humping behaviors with inanimate objects and other animals. Furthermore, when male dogs and cats have this procedure, they are much less likely to roam or engage in aggressive behaviors.
Given the number of dogs and cats that can potentially be produced over several years, it can be challenging to care for them personally or find them a good home. Furthermore, as AmericanHumane.org reports, while shelters may do their best to find families for homeless animals, there just aren’t enough for all of them. Given this, taking young animals to spay and neuter clinics is more humane. In addition to minimizing overpopulation, this also serves to avoid having to euthanize these animals if they are abandoned or otherwise become homeless.