The benefits of neutering your pet.

Not only does neutering your pet help their health and behavioural wellbeing, but it also has a positive impact on animal welfare in general.
Grey cat and golden retriever butting heads together affectionately

This Tuesday was World Spay Day, an awareness day first launched by Doris Day and her Animal League in 1995 to raise awareness of the importance of neutering animals.  

Many animal welfare organisations including Battersea Dog and Cat Home, The Cats Protection, PDSA, SSPCA and RSPCA now support World Spay Day.  

Here’s why you should consider neutering your pet.  

What does it mean to neuter a pet? 

Neutering is a procedure undertaken by a vet under general anaesthetic which prevents an animal from being able to reproduce.  

Female dogs and cats are spayed, this is an operation to remove their womb and ovaries. Male dogs and cats are castrated, which means their testicles are removed.  

Neutering procedures take place under anaesthetic and your vet will advise you on when is the best time to do this for your pet. 

The cost for this operation will vary depending on the veterinary clinic, but the PDSA offers low-cost support to eligible people. Dog Aid Scotland also offers neutering vouchers for dog owners on low incomes.  

Why is it important to neuter a dog? 

For both female and male dogs, neutering can have positive health benefits such as reducing the risk of or preventing:  

  • Unwanted pregnancies 
  • False pregnancies. 
  • Pyometra, a womb infection which is very serious and common in unspayed dogs. 
  • Mammary cancer. 
  • Testicular cancer. 
  • Prostate issues later in life.  

Neutering also has an impact on a dog’s behavioural well-being. Unspayed female dogs will come into season when they reach about 6 months old. Although it isn’t painful, dogs may be distressed and uncomfortable during this time.  

Neutering can also reduce unwanted behaviours in a male dog such as roaming, mounting, fighting and urine marking and can help prevent tension and aggression during interactions with other dogs.  

chihuahua wearing a cone

Why is it important to neuter a cat?  

Cats can get pregnant from 4 months of age and are effective breeders, so neutering is important to prevent unwanted pregnancies.  

Like dogs, neutering also has health benefits for cats including:  

  • Reducing the risk of cancers such as mammary cancer. 
  • Reducing the physical trauma of pregnancy and birth on young cats. 
  • Reducing the risk of serious infectious diseases such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) which can be spread through fighting and mating.  

Unneutered male cats will actively seek out partners to mate, which can lead to unwanted behaviours such as roaming farther from home, fighting over territory with other male cats and urine spraying behaviour.  

Unneutered female cats can go into frequent heats. During this time, she will also actively seek out a male partner and display behaviours such as calling and wailing, squirming and presenting her rear.  

Why neuter?  

Neutering helps to stop more animals from being born than there are loving homes for, minimises unwanted behaviours and reduces the risk of many health conditions.  

We would recommend any responsible pet owners to get their dogs and cats neutered. Speak to your vet for advice if you have any questions or concerns.  

Support our dogs and cats