My mother has a female dog who has not been spayed yet. Is it really necessary to spay a female dog when she won’t come into contact with any male dogs?
To Spay or Not To Spay in Sawyer Heights
Dear To Spay,
If you have been coming up short on gift ideas for Mother’s Day, I think we’ve just solved your problem: Help you mother to get her dog spayed–as soon as possible! Spaying or neutering your dog is part of responsible canine care. Not only does it help with the overpopulation problem–saving lives of countless animals–but it also has many health benefits for the individual pup who has the procedure done.
Also, even though you can try your best to keep your female dog away from unneutered males, you might be surprised at the lengths to which animals who are in heat can go to to mate. We’re talking about fence-jumping, digging and even destruction to your home in order to find a mate.
Aside from your responsibility to keep your pet from procreating unnecessarily, the health benefits of spaying your pet are many as well. Here are just a few benefits of spaying your pet:
1. Your dog will live longer: Spaying can help to prevent female dogs from having many serious health problems, such as uterine infections and breast cancer. Breast cancer is particularly dangerous, resulting in death for about 50% of canine cases. However, the rate of breast cancer goes down to almost zero if the spaying is done before the first heat cycle! It also eliminates the chance of developing a serious and potentially fatal infection of the uterus (pyometra), experienced by many mature unspayed animals. The most effective way to provide this protection is to ensure that a dog is spayed before her first heat.
2. A better behaved dog: Typically, after about six months of age, unspayed females go into heat for two to three weeks at a time (usually twice a year), although this varies with size and breed. This period of time can bring about a number of troublesome behaviors, such as howling and even urinating more often (and in the house). It will also attract the attention of every unneutered male within smelling distance.
3. It will save you money: Wait…but doesn’t surgery cost money? It can, but the cost of caring for a litter of puppies is much more, and so is handling the medical and behavior issues that you can prevent by having the procedure done. You can help keep the price down even further by looking into low-cost spay/neuter programs in your area. Many animal shelters also require spaying or neutering before they will release an animal, and the cost is built into the adoption fee. Additionally, check with your vet for any specials that they’re running on spay/neuter surgery and shop around for the best price.
4. You’ll be a hero in your community: Spaying or neutering a pup means fewer dogs being euthanized and also fewer unwanted animals roaming our streets. Strays are more likely to cause trouble, such as destroying property, causing car accidents, and scaring (or even biting) children and adults. Issues like these can negatively influence an entire community’s opinion about dogs, even though it is only a few strays causing the problem. If we can ensure that every dog has a responsible owner to care for it, we’ll be more likely to see support and positive changes in our communities for our pups.
Do you have a question for Tabby? If so, email her at dear firstname.lastname@example.org
Pet of the Week
Meet Janey! This adorable poodle-mix is about 6 years old and came into rescue as a stray. Janey has the softest coat on the planet and would love for her new owner to keep her groomed nicely to keep those unsightly mats at bay. Janey loves to go for walks on her harness and leash and is more than ready for her new beginning…could that be with you? To learn more, visit CAP at: www.cap4pets.org.