Millions of dogs and cats lose their lives every year in shelters, just because they were unwanted. In fact. the number one killer of companion animals in the United States is euthanasia. As a responsible pet owner, you naturally want to do your part to combat this trend, and the best thing you can do is have your pet spayed or neutered. At Casillas Veterinary Hospital, we recommend that all our patients get neutered or spayed as early as possible. Many of our pet owners have questions before bringing their pet in for the procedure. Here are some of the most common ones we get:

Why Should the Vet Spay or Neuter My Pet?

Sterilized pets are much less likely to wander and meet up with other animals, which will lower the stray population considerably. In addition, our vet advises that spaying and neutering gives real health benefits to dogs and cats. Sterilized pets live longer, have no chance of cancer of the reproductive organs and display less aggressive tendencies. 

How is Sterilizing Pets Good for the Community?

In some parts of the country, feral animals are becoming a real danger to the citizens and a nuisance to the community at large. Roaming and stray animals cause bites, get into trash cans, cause traffic hazards and defecate on lawns and in public parks. An increase in pet sterilization will cause a decrease in the number of stray animals around town, as well as lowering the number of overburdened shelters.

How Early Can I Have My Pet Spayed or Neutered?

We recommend bringing your pet in for the procedure as young as possible: as early as eight weeks as long as your pet weighs at least two pounds. Smaller breeds may need to wait longer until they grow a bit larger, but in general, it’s better to have the procedure done earlier rather than later. Younger animals recover easier than older ones for any medical procedure. 

That’s not to say that older dogs and cats can’t be sterilized. It’s possible and safe to do the procedure at any age. Your older pet may take a bit longer for recovery, though.

Is the Procedure Painful for My Dog or Cat?

Your pet will be under full anesthesia while the procedure is being performed, so it won’t feel anything. The recovery period afterward may include some tenderness, and you should keep your pet quiet while it heals. Most pets are active and playful a few days after getting the procedure done.

Won’t Spaying or Neutering Change My Pet’s Personality?

Your pet will still be the same lovable pet after it’s been sterilized. Male dogs and cats are less likely to roam or display aggressive behavior, and females won’t go into heat anymore, but those are behavioral changes, not changes in personality. Having your pet spayed or neutered won’t make it lazy, sleepy or uninterested in playing — that’s a myth. Overweight pets get that way through eating too much of the wrong kind of food and lack of exercise, not through being altered.