Spay/Neuter Facts

Spaying or neutering your dog is an important decision for all dog owners. There are many benefits to spaying and neutering.  Many people do not spay and neuter because of the expense, but by investing in your dog right away you could be saved from larger expenses in the future. Listed below are a few reasons why it is very important for you to spay or neuter your pet.  



There are homeless dogs everywhere! According to the Humane Society of the United States there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering shelters every year.  Only half of these animals are adopted.  These are not the offspring of homeless "street" animals—these are the puppies and kittens of cherished family pets and even purebreds. Millions of dogs are euthanized each year in crowded shelters.  Even if you find homes for all of your puppies there is a good chance they will eventually end up in a shelter.  By spaying or neutering you are helping to reduce the overpopulation of dogs in America.



A USA Today (May 7, 2013) article cites that pets who live in the states with the highest rates of spaying/neutering also live the longest. According to the report, neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered male dogs and spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs. The report goes on to add that in Mississippi, the lowest-ranking state for pet longevity, 44% of the dogs are not neutered or spayed.

Part of the reduced lifespan of unaltered pets can be attributed to their increased urge to roam, exposing them to fights with other animals, getting struck by cars, and other mishaps.

Another contributor to the increased longevity of altered pets involves the reduced risk of certain types of cancers. Unspayed female cats and dogs have a far greater chance of developing pyrometra (a fatal uterine infection), uterine cancer, and other cancers of the reproductive system.

Medical evidence indicates that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. (Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age.)

Male pets who are neutered eliminate their chances of getting testicular cancer, and it is thought they they have lowered rates of prostate cancer, as well. By spaying or neutering you can actually increase your pets lifespan in some cases up to 5 years!



Unneutered dogs are much more assertive and prone to urine-marking (lifting his leg) than neutered dogs. Although it is most often associated with male dogs, females may do it, too. Spaying or neutering your dog should reduce urine-marking and may stop it altogether.

The longer you wait, the greater the risk you run of the surgery not doing the trick because the behavior is so ingrained.

Other behavioral problems that can be reduced by spay/neuter include:

Roaming, especially when females are "in heat."
Aggression: Studies also show that most dogs bites involve dogs who are unaltered.
Excessive barking, mounting, and other dominance-related behaviors.

While getting your pets spayed/neutered can help curb undesirable behaviors, it will not change their fundamental personality, like their protective instinct.



When you factor in the long-term costs potentially incurred by a non-altered pet, the savings afforded by spay/neuter are clear (especially given the plethora of low-cost spay/neuter clinics).

Caring for a pet with reproductive system cancer or pyometra can easily run into the thousands of dollars—five to ten times as much as a routine spay surgery. Additionally, unaltered pets can be more destructive or high-strung around other dogs. Serious fighting is more common between unaltered pets of the same gender and can incur high veterinary costs.

Renewing your pet's license can be more expensive, too. Many counties have spay/neuter laws that require pets to be sterilized, or require people with unaltered pets to pay higher license renewal fees.


Is Spaying or Neutering really good for my pet?

Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.
Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of health problems that can be very difficult or expensive to treat.
Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when your pet is spayed before her first cycle.
Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the incidence of prostate disease.

The Statistics

Every year in the United States an estimated 5 million animals lose their lives in shelters. That is one pet life lost every 6.5 seconds. It costs U.S. taxpayers an estimated 2 billion each year to round up, house, euthanize and dispose of homeless animals. The pet overpopulation epidemic is so staggering that for every animal born in the United States to have a home, each and every human being would have to own 6 dogs and 9 cats.

For Your Pet’s Health

Spaying or neutering your pet can improve both their health and happiness. Having your female animals spayed keeps them from going into heat. Spaying and neutering will also reduce the risk of certain health problems, giving you more years with your precious dog or cat companions.

It is also important to mention that by reducing the number of homeless pets in your neighborhood, you are limiting the possibility that your pet will encounter a violent animal or one carrying a dangerous disease.


By making sure that your pet can’t have puppies or kittens, you’ll have peace of mind that his or her offspring won’t be euthanized in an animal shelter. Many people are surprised to learn that nationwide more than 5 million cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters.

You might think that these are animals born in the streets or there is something “wrong” with them. But often they are the offspring of cherished family pets, even purebreds. Maybe someone’s dog or cat got out just that one time or maybe the litter was intentional, but efforts to find enough good homes failed.

Still the result is homeless animals that have to be euthanized because there are more dogs and cats entering shelters than there are people willing to provide them with loving care. Even if you do find homes for your pet’s puppies or kittens, that means there are fewer homes available to take in other pets from shelters. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats.

Millions of pet deaths each year are a tragedy – but it can be solved. By spaying and neutering your pet, you can be an important part of the solution.