- Spay/Neuter FAQs
- 1. What is neutering?
Although "neutering" can apply to the sterilization surgery on both male and female animals, it is generally used to refer to the surgery on male animals. A male dog or cat is neutered by surgically removing his testicles. The surgery is technically referred to as orchiectomy.
- 2. What is spaying?
A female dog or cat is spayed by surgically removing her ovaries and uterus. The surgery is technically referred to as ovariohysterectomy.
- 3. Don't these operations hurt? Are they safe?
Spaying and neutering are the most common surgeries performed on animals. Spay and neuter surgeries are both performed under general anesthesia, so the dog or cat will not feel any pain from the surgery. They will usually go home the same day and will resume normal behavior in 1-2 days. The surgeries are extremely safe due to the newer, safer anesthetics being used by today's veterinarians.
- 4. Won't my pet get fat and lazy if I spay or neuter him or her?
A pet gets fat and lazy because their family feeds them too much and doesn't give them enough exercise. Your pet's weight depends on you!
- 5. Isn't it better to let my female dog or cat have one litter first?
Medical evidence suggests that the opposite is true. In fact, evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat tend to be healthier. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age with no ill effects.
- 6. But my pet is purebred, why shouldn't I breed him or her?
At least one out of every four pets brought to animal control facilities in the United States is a purebred. Breeding pets responsibly requires knowledge and a large commitment of time and money. Unless you belong to your dog breed club or cat club, and unless the experts there have determined that breeding your pet will improve the breed, your pet should be spayed or neutered.
- 7. But if I find good homes for all the kittens or puppies, won't it be ok?
No. Millions of kittens and puppies are killed in animal control facilities every year. There are just too many kittens and puppies and not enough homes. Furthermore, only 2 out of every 10 pets end up staying in his original home for his entire life so many of the puppies or kittens that you would produce may eventually end up in an animal control facility. Could you live with yourself knowing that many of the puppies or kittens you bred ended up being killed in an animal control facility? Do you know how to ask the correct questions to find the best homes for the puppies or kittens you breed or will you just be eager to place them in any home once they become overly active and hard to clean up after? All of the puppies or kittens that you breed need to be spayed or neutered by age 2 months so that none of them will continue to contribute to the pet overpopulation pyramid? Leave breeding up to the experts.
- 8. Will it cost a lot to have my pet spayed or neutered?
The cost of spaying or neutering varies from veterinarian to veterinarian so check with your own vet. Keep in mind that there are also many low cost spay/neuter programs here in Atlanta. If you can not afford one of these low cost spay/neuter programs, then SPOT will provide you with financial assistance so that you can get your pets sterilized. Call SPOT at 404-584-SPOT for more information about spay/neuter financial assistance for all of your pets.