There are so many misconceptions when it comes to desexing pets and we’re about to clear up a few of the common ones.
After all, we owe it to our pets to make an informed decision about their health and happiness – and by doing so, you will be doing your bit to help the accidental and overbreeding in the community.
Dr Alan Bolton, Senior Veterinarian
P.S. Currently at the Frank Samways Veterinary Clinic, we are offering discounted desexing to pension, health care and concession card holders until 31 July. Read more about the National Desexing Month at The Lost Dogs’ Home here.
1. “It’s healthy for females to have at least one litter.”
This is incorrect – in fact, veterinary evidence suggests that breeding your female dog or cat is more likely to cause her harm! An un-spayed female is much more susceptible to cancers or diseases of the reproductive organs, not to mention problems with the birth itself, which can often be problematic and may require extensive surgery.
2. “My pet’s personality will change/they’ll become overweight and lazy.”
If your pet’s personality does change in any way, it is generally for the better. They become calmer, easier to train and will not suffer the frustration of constantly wanting to mate. As for the weight myth – no one gets fat without eating too much of the wrong foods or exercising too little. The same applies to our pets. If you feed your pet an appropriate amount of quality food and regularly exercise them, they won’t gain weight.
3. “I have a male pet, so I don’t need to neuter him.”
It might surprise you to know that the majority of dogs who end up at our shelters are intact (un-neutered) males. An intact male can get incredibly frustrated when the need to mate hits him, either resulting in him escaping or developing behavioural issues, such as mounting to show dominance. Furthermore, neutering your male pet eliminates the possibility of him getting testicular cancer or prostate disease.
4. “It’s not natural.”
Dogs and cats are domesticated species – most of their ‘natural’ instincts went out the door when the grey wolf decided to hunt alongside humans all those years ago. What isn’t natural for a dog or cat is to prevent them from breeding, when all their instincts are telling them they must.
5. “It’s too expensive.”
Spread out over the course of an animal’s life, the cost of spaying or neutering your pet is minimal. Besides, feeding and caring for puppies and kittens – including giving them vaccinations, worming and flea treatments, etc. – is far more expensive by comparison.