Monday, 17 July 2017

Why should I neuter my pet?

How many times have we heard people saying that they hesitate to neuter their pets? How many times have we heard people arguing they don't want to go against nature by having them neutered? And how many times have we found puppies or kittens in trash cans by the same exact people saying these things?

Unfortunately, the answer for all these questions is "Way too many."

This is why I have decided to make here a list of all the reasons that ALL those who have pets MUST neuter them.

Neutering is by no means inhumane; instead it is an act of responsibility and a humane intervention to the normal development of your pet's life. This intervention is simple, painless and harmless.

On the long term it is the best for everyone in the family but mostly for the pet itself. I should hereby point out that all service and working dogs including guide dogs for the blind, therapy dogs, rescue dogs hearing dogs for the hearing impaired etc have been neutered in all cases!

Why should I neuter my companion pet?

To begin with, so as to narrow down the increase of stray animals that already exist in the streets ending up in brutal deaths.

But you will argue... "I will find responsible people to adopt the babies".

Yeah... sure, OK. But how can you be so sure that there won't be 8 or 10 puppies / kittens? And how consciously will all these people adopt the offspring of your pet? Do they all know what it means to adopt an animal?

Or are they under the impression that by buying a doghouse to which they will tie up their dog and throw some food at it every day then everything will be OK?

Because sadly people who do exactly these things are WAY TOO MANY... In fact, those people who simply leave them at their homes' gardens or even worse at their holiday homes' garden all alone during most of their lives, with no love and attention whatsoever are even more.

Not to mention that taking care of animals doesn't simply mean providing food and shelter but also vaccinating them on a yearly basis, de-worming or de-parisiting, blood tests etc.

Neutering benefits your pet

Hormonal activity on non neutered animals leads to bad mental and physical attitude and negatively affects its behavior – given that effectively, it’s nothing more than just unfulfilled estruses.

In addition, neutering makes animals’ life easier alongside humans, as there are no longer issues with females’ dirty spots during their menstrual cycles, there are no longer tendencies of running away as well as no more pissing for territory marking for male cats and dogs. This also causes an exceptionally bad smell to their tail and other body parts that are sprayed in the process, which is difficult to remove. Finally, the animals’ nervousness and aggressiveness is also taken out.

Problems with non-neutered (spayed) female animals

Non-neutered female animals are in danger of suffering several health issues which if not diagnosed early, can be fatal:

-Breast cancer
(there is actually a mathematical loop that shows the possibility of a female animal getting breast cancer in connection with her estruses and births. The more estruses and births, the larger the possibility for her to get breast cancer.)
-Uterus and ovaries cancer

Thus, neutering of female animals shouldn’t take place only in case that his owner wishes to have her mate with a male animal in order to give birth to new puppies or kittens.
In any other case, neutering should take place two months after her first estrus (and appearance of blood) so as to drastically reduce the possibility of getting breast cancer and in the future to totally remove the possibility of getting pyometra and additionally uterus and ovaries cancer.

When numbers speak:

-It should be noted that female dogs have estrus twice a year lasting three weeks while female cats have estrus thrice a year lasting seven to twenty days. Therefore, if you don’t neuter your female dog or cat and if those who will adopt their puppies or kittens do not in turn neuter them and consequently their own puppies or kittens, then you would do well to remember these numbers:

-During the first six years of your female dog and her puppies, approximately 67, 000 new puppies will be born.
-Within 7 years, a female cat and her kittens will be possibly able to deliver no less than 420.000 kittens!

Problems with non-neutered male animals:

Male animals will try to run away from their homes; if they succeed they will be in grave danger of being killed by cars, and when and IF they return, it’s highly possibly they will be infected with contagious venereal diseases.
(Male cats are additionally in danger of:
1) AIDS. It is the exact same with the human disease except the feline virus can't pass to humans from their pets; it is however highly contagious between cats and it is called FIV. As with human AIDS, sexual intercourse is not necessary for its transmission, cats can be infected during fights amongst them by scratching or biting one another.
2) Leukemia which is contagious with cats; in fact, there is a vaccine)

Additionally, as with female animals, there is increased possibility of getting cancer, in this case testicle cancer when male animals have not been neutered.

And now it's time to debunk some well-known myths:

MYTH No. 1: "It will get fat".

If the pet gets fat after neutering, then the owner is the only to blame.

Most pets indeed get fat after neutering but that isn't because they have been neutered but rather because their owners overfeed them and don't make sure they get enough exercise.

Neutering decelerates metabolism which results in a neutered animal now needing less food than before. As such, if we continue feeding it with the same amounts as we did before, or even worse if we feed it with human food leftovers or too many treats, then it is certain that the pet will gain weight.

So if you start feed your pet goof food in right doses after neutering it and if you are spending time with your pet as before (meaning that you go often for long walks with your dog or that you play enough time with your cat at home) your pet will NOT get fat!

But if you insist giving them treats because you can't resist when they look at you like beggars, then you need to know that if they get fat that was the reason!!!

And as for the pets getting lazy, that's irrelevant as well; it's just that they now lack their reproduction hormones so there's nothing to urge them to roam in search for a mate and there is no reason for them to leave from their home. But they will still enjoy being walked and playing and will be just as vivid and active as before getting neutered.

MYTH No 2: "I don't want him to lose his manhood (for male pets)".

Don’t think about your pet's personality in an anthropocentric way. Pets don't have any conception of sexual identity.

When they are on estrus it's just their hormones and wild instincts that take over. There are no feelings at that moment.

Finally, when a male pet is neutered, there is no psychological reaction or identity crisis taking place. His basic personality is not at all altered by neutering.

MYTH No. 3: "It's better to give birth once before being neutered so as to feel the joy of    

I will hereby repeat: "Don’t think about your pet's personality in an anthropocentric way."

That's just a human fabrication that is deriving from their own beliefs and their own emotions. It has never been proved that female animals need to fulfil their maternal instincts in order to be happy and "complete". Quite the contrary actually, since all vets agree that female animals that have been neutered before their first estrus are healthier in general. Nowadays neutering can be done to both dogs and cats quite early and the fastest it is done the better it is for them.

MYTH No. 4: "It's nice for the kids to witness the miracle of giving birth to new life".

To begin with, I need to inform you that there are tons of documentaries online so that you can show your children exactly how cats, dogs, elephants or even humans come into this world. Let's get real already!

So for your kids to witness this miracle, an animal must go through all this stress and pain of separation from her babies?

OK there is no argument that the family taking part in their favourite pet's nativity, especially kids, is something very beautiful. However, it is far more preferable to neuter your pet and then explain to your kids that the reason why you dog or cat did not have any puppies or kittens is because you wouldn't be able to find good homes for them or that even if you did, other stray animals in need for home and a good family would remain homeless instead.

That will have a far more positive effect than witnessing the pet giving birth because simply it will make them develop the feeling of responsibility and respect towards animals.

MYTH No. 5: "My pet is a pure breed so..."

"...I will offer pure breed babies to families who want them but can't afford a pure breed pet" or "...I will offer the pure breed babies to some NGO to train them so as to become therapy dogs or service dogs, some day my pet's descendants may be helping a blind person throughout his life or help an earthquake victim get out of a demolished house."

Come on people, wake up! It's not that simple to turn an animal into a therapy dog. There are way more stray animals than families willing to get a pet. So even if one of your puppies / kittens would be amongst the few lucky ones, that means that some other stray dog in the street was not that lucky and will eventually probably die there or be led to euthanasia at best.

MYTH No. 6: "I will find good homes for all my pet's puppies / kittens".

No matter how well you know someone, you can't possibly know who he really is or to what extend he really is a responsible owner, capable of taking care of an animal. After all you should always remember that thousands upon thousands of stray animals in the streets were the result of abandonment by such people with good initial intentions who however proved to be inadequate to take care of a pet or... simply got tired of it. But even if for the sake of the argument we assume that you do actually find good homes for all your puppies / kittens, you need to consider the following fact: For every home you will find, it will be one less home for thousands of already existing stray animals in dire need of one.

MYTH No. 7: "I do not want to go against nature".

Ever since we domesticated cats and dogs, we made the greatest intervention in nature!!!

It's too late now to talk about going against nature.

In nature you find trees and flowers instead of buildings and apartments.

In nature there is no injustice and no evil, while in human societies there is abundance of evil and unfortunately animals are its victims more than often. We don't live in nature and neither do our pets.

So, since we decided "to go against nature" anyway by having a dog or cat in our home, we should at the very least be responsible about it.

You should bear in mind that neutering is a very simple medical operation which is not expensive and the animal's recovery after it is fast and easy.

So if you really love animals in general and you feel sorry when you see a stray out in the cold, since in Greece alone there are over a million stray dogs and countless cats in the streets who will eventually come across many mentally sick people that will torture them to death... I appeal to you, neuter your pets thus giving one chance for a warm home to one so many ex stray animals staying at an already overcrowded shelter of one animal welfare unions of this country.

Because I am certain that you wouldn't want your pet's babies to end up in the streets because of negligence by your seemingly responsible person you picked as their family. They would then be roaming the streets, probably being killed by some car or worse: end up in the hands of some monster out there that will torture it to death in so many brutal ways we read in the news every day. Throw acid at it, rape it, beat it to death with an iron bar, drop it from his roof top, hang it alive from a tree and just leave it there to have a slow agonizing death... if you are shocked by all this I write, then you should un-shock yourselves because these things happen everywhere all the time. We just don't see them on mainstream media because "...oh well dude it's just a lousy animal, give us a brake already..."

And why all this? Because YOU decided not to neuter your pet. 

** This text has been written by me in Greek and published on my Greek blog on January 2012.  
     Many thanks to  and Alexis Mantzoros for the English translation.**

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