Spaying and Neutering your pet by a vet in Knoxville, TN, what you need to know

Spaying and Neutering your pet by a vet in Knoxville, TN, what you need to know

The Importance of Spaying and Neutering in Knoxville, TN by a vet in Just for Pets Animal Clinic

The majority of dog owners buy their dogs from a breeder and most cat owners get their cat from a shelter or the humane society. But anyone who has lost a dog or a cat knows that, even though the majority of pets are returned within 12 hours, we don’t know what happens in those 12 hours, and everyone has heard a story about the prize poodle having a litter of adorable mutts.

The statistics are frightening:

  • Every year the estimates of stray cats and dogs grow in the US. Upwards of 60 million stray cats and 70 million stray dogs are homeless in the US. 
  • One adult female dog can have an average of 12 puppies per litter depending on the breed and age of the dog. And a cat can have up to 300 kittens in her lifetime. 300!
  • The shelters can only take in an average of 6.5 million animals a year, and at least 10% of those animals need to be euthanized. Of these 6.5 million, only about 10% have been spayed or neutered.
  • There are over 100 diseases aside from rabies that a person can contract from an animal.

As pet owners, we love our animals and unless we plan on becoming responsible breeders of show animals, there are a variety of  reasons for making sure that your animal is spayed or neutered. 

It’s recommended that dogs be spayed or neutered after growth stops, somewhere between 9 and 15 months. Cats can be spayed as young as 8 weeks old, but generally, around 5 months in age is ideal.

The myth that your pet needs to have a litter before being spayed and neutered has been dispelled. According to the Humane Society, both dogs and cats that are spayed or neutered, have longer lifespans, have less occurrences of certain cancers and diseases, and because spaying and neutering helps to curb their desire to wander, your pets chances of having an accident outside the home are greatly decreased.

Spaying your female pet means no more heat cycles, and neutering your male pet means no more roaming and usually no more marking territory. Every male cat owner who has had a cat that hasn’t been neutered has experienced the wet spot in the carpet or the discoloration on the wall. 

Some owners feel that spaying or neutering their dog will decrease their ability to protect their “pack”, which consists of you and your family. But in fact, male dogs don’t protect because of hormones, and female dogs don’t have to have had a litter to consider you one of the family. 

Diet and exercise are always important for your animals, and while there may be some initial weight gain once your pet has the procedure, with monitoring this will soon come under control.

While we all love our pet, and think we can have another that looks and acts just like them if they breed, the reality is, that unless you are willing to pay $25,000 to have your cat cloned or almost double that for your dog, there is no guarantee that your pet will produce an a “mini-me”.

The importance of spaying or neutering is imperative in Just for Pets Animal Clinic, for our animals, and our communities. If you’ve gotten your pet from a shelter, it’s already taken care of. If you were given your pet by a family member or friend, make sure it’s taken care of. And if you can, talk to your vet and see about TNR, Trap Neuter or Spay & Return, programs that are available to help with any strays in your area.