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What are the pros and cons of spaying/neutering pets?

A local non-profit is offering $5 spay/neuter services to community members of Huntsville and Madison County, Alabama.

MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA, Ala. — Spay Neuter Action Project of Huntsville and Madison County is a non-profit animal rescue that provides spay & neuter services for low-income families.

If you live in Huntsville or Madison County and your annual household income is $35,000 or less, you qualify, and your pet also gets a free rabies shot at the time of the surgery.

The non-profit offers spay or neuter services through third party veterinarians for only $5.

Call 256-830-8459 for more information or you can go to SNAPalabama.com for a list of participating veterinarians.

What does it mean to spay/neuter my pet?

According to Madison Animal Care, spaying or neutering your pet is often considered to be one of the most important things that you can do as a responsible and dedicated owner. These elective procedures, of which countless are carried out each year and are considered very safe, involve the removal of the reproductive organs. 

In doing so, your pet will no longer be able to reproduce/become pregnant. Spaying is most often used to refer to the removal of the female productive organs, whilst neutering is normally used to describe the procedure in males. 

Some owners do have concerns about putting their fur-baby through this process. To help you to make this decision, here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of spaying and neutering your pet.

The Pros

There are a wide range of different advantages to getting your pet spayed/neutered. These include the following:

No unwanted pregnancy

Obviously, the biggest benefit of spaying a female is that she won’t become pregnant. The advantages of this are that your pet won’t have the risks that are associated with pregnancy and birth, and you won’t have the additional costs involved in having baby animals. You also won’t need to worry about re-homing them. 

Do your part to reduce pet overpopulation

You probably already know that there is a huge population of pets living in shelters because there aren’t enough willing owners to care for them. This tends to happen because unwanted litter become abandoned, older pets become less desirable or people aren’t prepared for the time or financial commitment required to have pets. By choosing to get your pet spayed/neutered, you will be doing your part to help prevent adding to this overpopulation crisis. 

Health benefits

There are several different health benefits associated with spaying/neutering. Males that are neutered can no longer develop testicular cancer, and their risk of prostate problems is also significantly reduced. Females that have been spayed are unable to contract uterine, ovarian or cervical cancer, or uterine infections. There is also a significantly lower risk of breast cancer, which can be fatal in a high percentage of animals. Studies suggest that getting your female spayed before her first heat will offer the best protection against breast cancer. 

Behavioral benefits

Research has also found that there are a number of behavioral benefits to spaying/neutering your pet. These include less vocalization, reduced aggression, reduced marking and less desire to roam away from home.  

The Cons

There are also a few things to take into account before opting to spay/neuter your pet. These include:

The risks

Any surgery carries risks and spaying/neutering, although considered very safe, is no exception. Your vet will thoroughly assess the risk to your pet before approving this procedure for them. However, you should still be prepared for the risk of complications either during the procedure or during your pet’s recovery. 

Weight gain

Some animals do gain a little weight following the spaying process. This is because a pet’s basal metabolic rate decreases after a spaying procedure, and as a result, they need to eat fewer calories. Unless you adjust your pet’s diet accordingly, they may gain weight, and this could potentially be bad for their health.

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