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From the moment you bring your new cat or dog home, you will be charged with making many decisions for your pet during his or her lifetime. One of the most important health decisions you will make is the decision to spay or neuter your pet.
Spaying is a veterinary procedure that involves removing the ovaries and uterus of a female pet. This procedure eliminates a female’s ability to reproduce and puts an end to her heat cycles. Neutering involves removing the testicles of your male dog or cat so that he can no longer reproduce. Both procedures are done in a veterinarian’s office and require a minimal hospital stay. Spaying and neutering are responsible ways pet owners can ensure the health of their animal companions.
February is National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month. What better time to highlight the many benefits of spaying or neutering your pet. Here are a few things to consider:
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) estimates that between 6 and 8 million healthy, adoptable homeless animals enter shelters in the U.S. each year. Less than half that number are adopted. Sadly, millions of healthy companion animals are euthanized every year due to a shortage of loving homes, lack of shelter space, and resources. By spaying or neutering your pet, you will be helping to cut down on the number of animals in need of loving homes.
Benefits of Spaying and Neutering a Longer and Healthier Life
An intact (unneutered) male dog or cat will do whatever he can to go looking for a mate. This often includes finding a way to leave home and roam around to search for a mate. Roaming increases the risk that your pet will get into fights with other animals, get struck by a car, or have an accident on their own.
Neutering your male helps to ensure he will stay safely at home with you.
Female cats generally go into heat every three weeks during the breeding season. During the four or five days they are in heat, they will let males know that they are seeking a partner. She usually does this by yowling and frequent urination, which you might not appreciate all over the house.
It is a myth that having your pet spayed or neutered will change the animal’s personality. However, it tends to make a pet less aggressive.
Unneutered dogs and cats are far more likely to mark their territory. This behavior is known as “spraying,” or leaving their strong-scented urine all over the house to indicate it is their place. Unneutered dogs are more likely to engage in excessive barking, mounting, and other dominance-related behaviors.
Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.
1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.