Spay & Neuter “Myth Busters”

Myth: Spaying and neutering adversely affects the behavior of dogs and cats.

Fact:  The only behavior changes you will see in your dogs and cats from spaying and neutering are beneficial changes.  You will generally see less territorial spraying in male cats depending on the age at which they are neutered.  Dogs and cats fight less and roaming behavior is decreased in both species.  Decreased fighting and roaming can prevent a number of diseases or injuries.  For more details on the behavior and health benefits of spaying and neutering, see our “Why Spay and Neuter?” tab.

Myth: Children should be allowed to witness the miracle of birth.

Fact:  Cats and dogs often have their litters at night in hidden places far from sight.  Moreover, each litter an animal has can contribute to the millions of animals that enter shelters each year, and the growing pet overpopulation.  For more details on pet overpopulation, view our “The Truth about Pet Overpopulation” tab.

Myth: Spaying and neutering is painful for my pet.

Fact:  Surgical sterilization (spaying and neutering) is performed under general anesthesia by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.  Your dog or cat does not feel pain during the procedure.  Pain medications are also given before and after surgery.  Your pet may experience mild discomfort after spaying or neutering, but most pets return to normal activity within 24 to 72 hours.  The minimal discomfort an animal experiences during surgical sterilization is well worth the prevention of animal suffering associated with homeless puppies and kittens.

Myth: As a result of spaying and neutering, animals become less active and overweight.

Fact:  As any animal matures, the diet and activity level need to be adjusted in order to maintain their ideal body weight.  Animals only become overweight when they are fed too much and not exercised adequately.

Myth: A dog or cat should have at least 1 litter or 1 heat cycle before spaying or neutering.

Fact:  There is no medical benefit to allowing 1 litter or 1 heat cycle prior to spaying.  In fact, spaying before their first heat cycle drastically reduces dogs’ and cats’ risk of developing mammary tumors as well as uterine cancer.  For more details on the health benefits of spaying and neutering, see our “Why Spay and Neuter?” tab.

Myth: Spaying and neutering is too expensive

Fact:  At Howard County Veterinary Service, we strive to provide excellent medical care for our patients while keeping prices reasonable.  The cost of spaying and neutering is less than the food and medical costs involved in taking care of litter of kittens and puppies.