Family Veterinary Clinic

1413 Defense Hwy #100
Crofton & Gambrills, MD 21054



Should You Spay or Neuter Your Pet?


Yes, you should spay or neuter your pet. According to the national ASPCA in the United States, approximately 6 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. The sad fact is that only about half of them are adopted, the other half are euthanized. Most of these are healthy, loving animals that would have made excellent pets. In total, about 2.7 million healthy adoptable cats and dogs are sadly euthanized in animal shelters every year.

Spaying and neutering your pet will help to prevent overbreeding and, therefore, curb overpopulation. It is the only 100% effective method of birth control for dogs and cats. Here are some other reasons to spay or neuter your pet.

kittens in chair

Improves Longevity

Studies have shown that spaying and neutering your pet increases the life span of male dogs by 18%, and female dogs by 23%. Medical evidence also suggests that spaying a female before her first heat benefits her health.


Reduces Certain Cancer Risk

Unspayed dogs and cats have a greater chance of developing pyometra, a fatal uterine infection. They are also at a much greater risk for mammary cancer. Altered male pets have a decreased risk of testicular and prostate cancer as well.


Reduced Licensing Fees

Some states and counties offer lower licensing fees for pets that are spayed and neutered. This is to reduce overpopulation within their communities.


Curbs Bad Behavior

Many pet owners observe a decrease in undesirable behaviors.

  • Aggression: It is common for unaltered pets to be aggressive around other animals of the same gender and for other animals to be more aggressive towards them.
  • Roaming: It is instinctual for non-spayed or non-neutered pets to roam in search of a mate. Most dogs hit by cars are unneutered males. Altering your pet reduces this need to wander.
  • Urine Spraying: Unaltered pets have a tendency to mark their territory, especially when a female goes into heat.
  • Excessive Barking, Mounting and Other Dominance-Related Behaviors: When you alter your pet their hormone levels are reduced, thus lowering the need exhibit dominance.


When should you have your pet spayed or neutered?

  • Dogs: The traditional age for spaying and neutering a dog is usually between six and nine months. As long as your pet is healthy, your pet could be altered as early as eight weeks old. You can have an adult dog altered, although there is a higher possibility of complications, and recovery time may be longer.
  • Cats: It is considered safe to spay and neuter kittens as young as eight weeks old. This is common in shelters to prepare them for adoption. Most vets will advise scheduling the surgery at least by six months old. This will help to prevent the start of urine spraying.

If you have any questions about the surgery, or to schedule an appointment for your pet, please call Family Veterinary Clinic. We feel this is an important step in the proper care of your animal.