Whether to Spay/Neuter Your Pet is something you may need to decide at some point of time in your ‘Pawrenting journey’ . This is one of the most important decisions that you need to take for your pet. There are many misconceptions and myths regarding Spaying or Neutering a pet. In this article we will look into some aspects of it in detail. It may help you to decide whether or not you would want to Spay/Neuter Your Pet.


What is Spaying or Neutering?

Spaying is a surgical procedure to remove female pet’s uterus and ovaries through an incision in their abdominal area. Similarly, neutering is the procedure to remove a male pets’ testicles. In this case the incision is made near the front of scrotum.

Image of a dog in a veterinary clinic

Why You Should Consider Neutering Your Pet?

Let’s look at some of the aspects on why you should consider spaying/neutering your pet. We will look into the benefits, ideal age of surgery, consultation process, risks and post-surgery care needed for your pet.

1) Medical Benefits-

Spaying or neutering pets may save them from many health concerns or at least reduce the risk of some health risks. Unspayed female pets may experience painful infections like Pyometra, or may develop Mammary Cyst or tumors. Whereas unneutered male pets may suffer from testicular cancer and prostatic diseases. Though these health risks may affect any pet, the chances can be minimized by spaying/neutering.

2) Socialization Benefits-

If your pet is neutered or spayed then their socialization exercise becomes much easier. You can freely introduce them with other pets while walking in the park or take them to pet events. Many boarding facilities prefer spayed/ neutered pets as it becomes easier for them to take care of them. In case you need to leave your pet at a boarding facility while they are in “Breeding cycle” , it may involve the risk of having unplanned litters of puppies or kittens.

Image of three dogs playing in a field

3) Other Benefits-

Neutering or spaying can help prevent unplanned litters. If you have an unspayed female dog then she will get into the “heat cycle” for once or twice a year. During this period, the smell of their discharge may invite other male dogs to your house.

If you have an unspayed cat then they can try to escape during breeding season in search of a mate. Cats often get into ugly fights during this period. This may cause them injury or trauma.

Additionally, spayed or neutered pets may have lesser tendencies to mark their territories ( for dogs) or spray at random places inside the house (for cats).

4) Expertise Required for Breeding Pets-

The job of breeding is for the professional & ethical breeders.They have the required expertise and experience. Unexperienced handling of breeding pets may lead to huge risk for your pet.

5) Not Contributing to the Number of Abandoned and Stray Animals:

All over the world there are much more stray animals in number as compared to the homes and shelters available for them. By spaying or neutering your pet you can take the pledge of not adding to that number. After your pet delivers puppies or kittens, you may not always find suitable and responsible homes for them. One wrong adoption or rehoming may result in many unwanted or unplanned litters in future.

Ideal Age for Spaying/Neutering Your Pet:

Neutering your pet at a premature age may lead to adverse consequences. It is recommended to neuter your pet after they attain sexual maturity. Usually dogs attain sexual maturity at the age of 6 to 9 months. However, depending on your dog’s breed this may vary. On the other hand, cats can reach sexual maturity at four months of age. Many vets recommend allowing pets to go through at least one “heat cycle” before surgery. Recent studies in this field suggest that spaying or neutering before pets attain puberty may lead to both behavioural and health related issues in future.

Image of a cat undergoing surgery

Consultation with Veterinarians:

Once you make your mind to Spay/Neuter your pet, make sure to go through a thorough consultation with the vet. Ask them regarding the ideal age of surgery, health risks if any, cost of surgery and post-surgery care etc. Take a decision only after thorough consultation with professional veterinarians.

Post-neutering Care:

After you Spay/Neuter Your Pet you need to be careful about their post-neutering care. Many pet clinics provide post-surgery care for pets at their boarding facility. However, if you have time and you are well equipped to take care of them at home, then there is no alternative to that. Let’s look at some aspects that you need to be careful of while taking care of them at home.

1) Keep your pet in a quiet environment indoors during their recovery phase. It will help to keep their stress level in check and help them recover faster.

2) Keep them away from other pets. If you have other pets at home, make sure to keep them away during this period. Both cats and dogs tend to lick each other in order to comfort them or simply as an expression of love. It is better to confine your pet till they recover to avoid any risk.

3) Prevent them from jumping or running. The best way is to ensure that they do not get excited. Many dogs are sensitive to the sound of the door bell or sudden noise. You can put a “Do not ring the bell” board outside the door to discourage visitors from ringing the door bell.

4) Do not allow them to lick around the incision site. It may lead to fungal infection. Use e-collars to prevent licking.

image of a dog wearing e-collar

5) Do not give them a wet bath for at least 10 days post surgery. This is important to make sure that the incision site is healed properly. Use dry bath spray and pet deo instead during this period to maintain your pet’s hygiene.

Lastly, supervise them diligently. Check for any infection and monitor the healing process. Consult with the veterinarian whenever in doubt. Maintain hygiene and stay safe.

Bursting the Bubble of Myths Relating  Spaying/ Neutering:

1)There is no scientific proof that neutering your pet necessarily leads to weight gain. Weight gain in a pet may be the result of over-feeding or lack of exercise.

2) Neutering does not make your pet calm. Multiple factors contribute to the behavioural development of your pet. It includes their home environment, past experiences, amount of exercise they get, socialization level and many more. There is not enough evidence to prove behavioural changes occur due to neutering a pet.


All the information provided in this article is based on individual experience with pets and personal research. The purpose of this article is purely to generate awareness and provide a roadmap to those pet parents who may need guidance with such issues. Please make sure to do your own research and consult with professional vets before you reach any conclusion on whether to Spay/Neuter Your Pet.

1 Reply to “Should You Spay/Neuter Your Pet?”

  1. A very informative article. Surprisingly, people who own dogs or cats usually have little or no knowledge about neutering/spaying and the associated health risks. Articles like this should be promoted more in public domain to, atleast, help create awareness among pet owners. I extend my warm regards to Pawfactss team for giving a 360° coverage of this issue.

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