4 Reasons Why It’s Important To Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Spay or neuter your petYou’ve probably heard that it’s important to spay or neuter your pet. For whatever reason, however, maybe you’re still on the fence about whether it’s really necessary. It’s time to jump off that fence and onto the side of righteousness! Which is to say, it is absolutely, hands-down, without a doubt imperative to spay or neuter your pet. Here’s why.

Pet Overpopulation

The biggest reason to get your dog or cat neutered is pet overpopulation. More than four million pets are euthanized every year simply because there aren’t enough loving homes to meet the demand. Unless you’re a professional breeder, there is no reason your pet should have puppies or kittens. There are countless animals out there that need homes—the last thing we should do is add to that number. Even if you think your pet is strictly an indoor animal that has no contact with any potential mates, there’s no way you can know for sure. If you fail to spay or neuter your pet, you are actively contributing to the animal population problem. Be part of the solution by getting your pet spayed or neutered, and by adopting your pets from rescue shelters.

Reduces Health Problems

In both male and female dogs and cats, spaying and neutering reduces a variety of health problems that could spell early death for your pet. Spaying female pets prior to their first reproductive cycle eliminates the risk of breast and uterine cancer, as well as the possibility of uterine infections. For male pets, neutering helps prevent testicular cancer, enlargement of the prostate gland, and perianal tumors. Unneutered males are also more likely to roam around in search of a mate, increasing the likelihood that they could get hit by a car or meet some other unfortunate end. It’s impossible to justify risking your pet’s life by not getting them spayed or neutered.

Behavior Improvements

Some people believe that spaying or neutering their pet will bring about negative personality changes. In reality, the opposite is true. As previously mentioned, males are less likely to roam when the drive to find a mate is eliminated, meaning they’ll become less restless and more at ease with staying put. Males also tend to become less aggressive and get along better with other pets when neutered. When reproductively active female pets go into heat, they tend to become agitated, pacing around the house, making lots of noise, and sometimes even urinating all over everything. In short, a spayed or neutered pet is a happy pet.

Cost Effective

One reason people don’t neuter or spay their pets is because they think it’s too expensive (Check out our promotions for money saving coupons on spays and neuters). Compared to the costs of caring for a litter of puppies or kittens, however, the price of spaying and neutering is negligible. Many shelters and clinics offer low-cost spaying/neutering options, bringing the price down even further. It’s important to remember that, between medical bills, food, grooming, and a variety of other expenses, owning a pet can be quite expensive. If you’re not willing to invest a little bit more to get your pet spayed or neutered, maybe pet-owning isn’t for you.

If you have any questions about getting your pet spayed or neutered, contact a veterinarian to get the info you need to help your pets live long, happy, healthy lives. If you are the type of animal loving person who wants to help raise awareness about proper pet owning techniques or help animals live the best lives possible, the path of the veterinary tech may be for you.

Julie Lee is a freelance blogger who writes about veterinary tech college programs and animal health topics.

AHCHOO!!! Does your Dog have Allergies?

dog sneezingIt is estimated that between fifteen and thirty percent of the population are allergic to cats, dogs or both. Depending on how sensitive a person’s immune system is, the reaction can range from mild to extremely severe. While most people are aware of the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to their canine family members, many dog owners are not aware that pets can have allergies to their environment and the foods they eat, too.

Types of Canine Allergies

Dogs are allergic to airborne allergens like mold and pollen and chemical substances like perfume and dyes in cleaning agents and shampoos. Some dogs develop sensitivity and allergies to their food.

Other triggers include:

  • Insecticides
  • Plastic/latex
  • Medication
  • Feathers
  • Dust/dust mites

Symptoms of Allergic Reaction

Watch for new or excessive scratching. The first sign that your pet is experiencing an allergic reaction could be redness, swelling and irritation in or around the ears. Inflammation from an allergic reaction and ear infections are both uncomfortable for dogs; scratching is your pet’s way of trying to cope with the discomfort or pain.

Some additional symptoms and their possible causes are listed below.

Red, scaly, or oozing skin patches

These symptoms may develop from flea, tick or other parasitic bites, grass and pollen irritation or as a reaction to certain fabrics or upholstery in your home.

Coughing and/or sneezing

Allergies to inhaled substances like cigarette smoke, perfumes and airborne particles can produce a raspy canine cough. Sneezing is present when particles irritate the nasal passages.

Constant scratching and chewing

Many dog allergies produce excessive chewing (especially on the lower back or tail). Look for fleas or bite marks.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are harder to pinpoint. Food sensitivities can develop shortly after the first or second ingestion while others may develop several months or even years later. Veterinarians recommend limiting the number of ingredients in your dog’s diet for a period from three to six months before reintroducing various foods one at a time to discover which ingredients are producing reactions. Consult your vet to develop a nutritionally sound challenge diet.

Carly is a writer for AllergicPet.com. Allergic Pet specializes in providing safe and natural solutions to your pet health problems.