Sunrise Pet Clinic: Educational Information

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Why are Spaying and Neutering So Important?

Millions of unwanted dogs and cats are sheltered and euthanized in the United States each year. This includes purebreds and mixed breeds, the young and the old, the cute and the ugly. There simply are not enough good homes available. Preventing the reproduction of these unwanted pets through spay and neuter surgery could dramatically decrease the number of unwanted animals in our community. The following are advantages of having your dog or cat sterilized:

Behavior Benefits

  • Neutering may reduce aggression to people and other animals: A neutered pet will still be protective of his territory and family.

  • Reduces the chance of dog bites: Studies have shown that 80% of all reported dog bites were attributed to un-neutered males.

  • Reduces or eliminates most urine marking and cat "spraying."

  • Reduces or eliminates embarrassing "mounting" behavior in males.

  • Reduces the likelihood of pet loss: Males have been known to jump fences, break through doors and windows, and travel for miles tracking a female in heat. Females in heat frequently exhibit similar behavior. The lives of loose animals are threatened by cars, poisoning, and the elements; loose animals are often a danger to the public.

  • Reduces sexual frustration: Breeding behavior in animals is strictly a hormonal drive, not an emotional drive. Animals do not feel an emotional "need" to reproduce. A sterilized dog or cat will be a more relaxed and loyal member of your family.
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Health Benefits
  • Males: Reduces the risk of testicular tumors and prostate problems.

  • Females: Reduces the chance of uterine infection and uterine cancer. Reduces the chance of mammary cancer.

  • Eliminates the problems, risks, and costs associated with pregnancy and birth: Caring for a healthy litter of pups or kittens can often be an overwhelming undertaking. Complications or problems with nursing can keep the entire family occupied around the clock with special care and hand feeding, which is often risky and unrewarding. An unexpected Caesarian section, common in some breeds, can cost as much as $600.
Easier For You
  • Spaying eliminates bloody heat periods.

  • Stops irritating pacing and crying (cats especially are very vocal while in heat.)

  • Eliminates the female's scent during heat that attracts males to you and your home.

  • Spayed and neutered animals are also more economical to care for; the reduction of roaming behavior and health problems associated with unaltered pets can drastically reduce veterinary bills. You'll save on licensing, too — Pima County's annual license fee for a sterilized dog is only $16, as opposed to the full $61 for an unaltered dog.
Kinder to the Animals
  • People often allow their pets to have a litter hoping to have another just like the one they know and love. Pets, like people, all have different personalities, so there is no guarantee a litter will produce offspring exactly like, or similar to, the pet you love.

  • Good homes are becoming harder and harder to find. A walk through your local shelter will show you how many puppies and kittens were discarded by those that were once considered "good homes" but who didn't follow through with their responsibility to the pets. Studies have shown that only one pet per litter born in our country will live out its life in the home in which it was originally placed.



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