Benefits of Spaying and Neutering

CatBy law in Illinois, any animal that is adopted from a shelter must be spayed or neutered to help control the pet population as well as provide some important health benefits for your animals. The Anti-Cruelty Society offers a low cost spay/neutering program which is open to the general public.

What is spaying and neutering?

Spaying is the surgery for females and it removes the animal’s uterus. Neutering is the surgery for males and it removes the animal’s testicles.

Why should I spay or neuter my pet?

Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the most important decisions you can make for your pet’s health. Not only does this procedure prevent them from reproducing and creating unwanted litters of offspring, it also helps increase your pet’s life expectancy. This surgery can increase your dog’s life expectancy by one to three years and your cat’s life expectancy by three to five years.

Other health benefits are:

  • It reduces or eliminates the risk of mammary gland tumors, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer in females, especially if spayed before the first heat cycle.
  • It eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and reduces the risk for prostate disease in males.
  • It reduces desire to roam so it improves animal safety by reducing injury from fights or auto accidents. Male dogs can smell females in heat up to five miles away and try to seek them out. Statistics show that as many as 85% of dogs hit by cars are unaltered.
  • It also eliminates other health issues, which is better for your pet and leads to lower medical costs.

There are behavior-related benefits of spaying/neutering pets as well. These include:

  • Altered animals make a better family pet. They are easier to train and more focused on their families.
  • This procedure also decreases aggressive behavior which creates a safer community. Dog bites are the second most common reason for children’s emergency room visits. Unneutered male dogs are 18 times more likely to bite and female dogs that are not spayed are 10 times more likely to bite.
  • Neutering reduce or eliminates spraying and marking by males.
  • Spaying eliminates messy heat cycles for female pets.

If your pet is not spayed or neutered, learn more about the services provided by The Anti-Cruelty Society.