Pet Overpopulation – What You Can Do to Help as a Pet Owner
As pet owners we are responsible to provide the basics of shelter, love, food, water, and medical care to our pets. By spaying and neutering our pets we are increasing the quality of their lives and preventing the increase of unwanted cats and dogs in our communities, provinces, and countries.
You might not think that spaying your cat or dog makes a difference. How could one female affect the overpopulation problem? The numbers are staggering. Over 6 years, one female dog and offspring could produce 67,000 dogs. In just 7 years, your cat and her offspring can be responsible for 370,000 cats needing homes!
A quick glance at your local shelter and rescues shows how many pets are waiting for their forever homes. This does not take into consideration the homeless animals that are trying to survive on the streets. Cars, wildlife, diseases, and other dangers must be avoided each day while they search for food.
By doing your part as a responsible owner, you can have an impact on the overpopulation crisis affecting our companions and your pet will benefit too!
Spay and Neuter FAQs:
Why should I spay or neuter my pet?
Spaying and neutering has many benefits. Heat cycles can be stressful and each successive heat cycle increases the chances of life threatening diseases such as pyometra (infection of the uterus), mammary cancer, and uterine cancer. Neutering means your pet is less likely to roam which decreases the chance of injuries through fighting (with other males or other animals), being hit by vehicles, or getting lost.
Having your pet altered also decreases the chance of contracting deadly diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia (FelV). These diseases are spread by bodily fluids while fighting or mating.
Neutering your animal also has the added benefit of preventing testicular cancer and decreases the risk of cancers such as prostate cancer.
When should I have my pet spayed or neutered?
The animal health community agrees spaying your pet before maturity (and their ability to produce litters) is generally best; however, some studies now advise waiting until your dog has reached maturity in some breeds. Your Veterinarian knows your animal best and can discuss the options and best time based on your individual animal. Health conditions, size, weight, and breed can effect the age when your pet should be altered.
Your vet can also offer additional testing that can be completed prior to surgery. Pre-anaesthetic blood-work can provide a detailed picture of your pet’s health and allow the veterinarian to tailor the procedure for your pet. An added benefit of the blood-work is that you will have a baseline for comparison should your pet require surgery in the future.
Will having my pet spayed or neutered affect their personality or health?
Having your pet spayed/neutered can prevent negative personality/temperament issues such as howling, nervous pacing, roaming, and urine marking. Hormone related aggression can be decreased.Some animals will require less food once they have been spayed/neutered. Your veterinarian will be able to discuss this with you.
By spaying/neutering your pet, you are preventing many health problems including multiple types of cancers.
I want my children to experience the miracle of birth.
Allowing your pet to reproduce unwanted offspring is not the proper way for children to learn about the experience of birth. There are many books, videos, and other material to assist with the explanation. If you really want your child to experience this in their home, why not offer to foster a mother cat (or dog) from a local shelter or rescue? Opening your home to a mother will allow your children to not only experience the miracle of birth, but also understand the responsibility of pet ownership and helping those less fortunate.
What if I find them all homes?
By choosing to bring more animals into the world you are taking homes from those already waiting. A quick browse through local shelters shows just how many animals are waiting to be placed in a forever home. This doesn’t even take into consideration the animals that are living abandoned on the streets waiting for someone to be able to help them.
We suggest speaking with your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your cat or dog. We will be happy to answer any questions you have.