Last year in this country alone, over 8 million dogs and cats were euthanized due to a severe overpopulation problem. With very few exceptions, uvma strongly recommends spaying and neutering all dogs and cats kept as pets. In addition to humane concerns, spaying and neutering offer health benefits. Unspayed female dogs and cats are at high risk of developing a life-threatening uterine infection that usually requires emergency surgery to treat. Also, each heat cycle a female dog or cat goes through puts her at higher risk of mammary cancer as she gets older. We strongly recommend spaying dogs and cats at four months of age. Spaying involves the surgical removal of the uterus and both ovaries. Spayed females no longer experience heat cycles.
Male dogs and cats also enjoy health benefits with neutering. Neutering involves the surgical removal of both testicles. This eliminates the chance of testicular disease, including testicular cancer, and greatly reduces the chances of prostate problems. uvma strongly recommends neutering male dogs and cats at four months of age. Neutered males are generally better pets than unneutered males and are far less likely to develop objectionable behaviors such as urine marking, providing they are neutered before such behaviors begin and become habits. Once begun, these habits can be extremely difficult to break.