Healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized by the thousands each year in New Mexico because there are not enough homes for them all. Fixing your pet (also known as spaying/neutering) means fewer pets added to that population. If we all fix our pets, we can end pet overpopulation in our state!
Common Questions & Concerns
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What is Spaying and Neutering?
It’s a simple surgical procedure that stops your dog or cat from breeding. Female animals get spayed, males get neutered. The operation is performed while the pet is under anesthesia. Spaying/neutering your pet is commonly referred to as 'fixing your pet.'
Will spaying or neutering affect my pet’s health in any way?
Yes, it will improve the health of your pet. In females, it eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine infections and cancer. It also reduces the incidence of mammary cancer. In males, it eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.
But surely my one cat or dog can’t make that much of a difference.
You may find homes for all of your pet's litter. But each home you find means one less home for homeless animals in shelters who may die for lack of an available home. Also, in less than one year's time, each of your pet's offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population. Then their offspring have offspring, and so on and so on. By fixing your one pet you can help save hundreds if not thousands of lives! It makes your life easier too.
Spaying or neutering your pet can help some of your pet's behavior problems
Some of these problems include:
- -house soiling
- -marking, spraying
- -persistent barking or meowing
- -roaming, escaping
- -fighting with other pets
- -biting humans or other pets
- -bleeding and other problems associated with female pets -being in heat
- -females yowling when in heat
I feel uncomfortable getting my male pet neutered. I wouldn’t want that done to me
Neutering your pet can make him happier, healthier and better behaved because he will no longer be driven to find a mate. He will be less likely to escape your yard, have excess energy or get testicular cancer.
My dog won’t protect us after being fixed.
If your dog protects your home now, that won't change.
I can’t afford to have my pet fixed.
Many organizations offer low cost, even free spay/neuter services, especially for feral and un-owned cats. Licensing fees are universally less for sterilized animals than intact ones. Spaying or neutering is a one-time cost that is a bargain compared to having to care for a litter of puppies or kittens and find them homes.
My pet is too young to be fixed.
Having your female dog or cat spayed before 5 months will greatly decrease her chance of getting mammary cancer. It will eliminate the possibility that she will start having her own puppies or kittens when she is as young as five months. For male dogs and cats early neutering prevents testes cancer and eliminates or greatly decreases unwanted behaviors such as roaming, urine marking, fighting, and aggression.
Won’t female dogs and cats miss having puppies or kittens? I would feel very lonely without my family.
No. Mother dogs & cats care for their young for a few months until they’re weaned, but then usually have nothing further to do with them.
Shouldn’t my dog or cat have one litter before being fixed?
It is better to do just the opposite. Your pet will be healthier if she is spayed before her first litter and—even better—before her first heat.
Won’t a female dog or cat be a better pet if she has had one litter?
No. Having puppies or kittens makes no difference at all to a pet’s temperament.
Won’t my dog get fat and lazy if I fix them?
Being overweight is a consequence of being overfed and under exercised, not of being neutered. Sterilized pets have lower caloric requirements than males out hunting for a mate and females eating not only for themselves, but for the litters they carry.
My dog/cat is purebred and I want to breed her at least once to recoup the price I paid for her.
Many purebreds end up in shelters just like mixed breeds. Breeding is expensive, time-consuming and does not create clones of your pet.