Looking After Furry Friends

Why neutering is important for protecting pets 

If you recently introduced a new pet to the family, you may be considering having them neutered to prevent unplanned pregnancies or unwanted behaviours.  Neutering  offers many benefits for your pet and can improve their overall quality of life.

PDSA Vet Nurse, Nina Downing, said: “Neutering a pet is a procedure regularly carried out by vets and one that your vet or vet nurse will happily chat through with you, so you can weigh up the pros and cons. While there are some cases where neutering isn’t advisable, it is recommended in most cases.

Positives for pooches 

“For canine companions, the best age for neutering is typically from six months old. If your pup is a large breed, however, it may be beneficial to carry out the procedure further down the line. If in doubt, you should always speak to your vet, as they will be able to offer advice on when would be the best time for your pet.

“Neutering prevents male dogs from developing testicular cancer and can reduce the risk of prostate disease. It can also reduce the likelihood of them roaming away from home.

“For female dogs, neutering reduces the chance of developing breast cancer and stops the risk of a very serious infection of the womb called pyometra. It can also reduce the risk of false pregnancies, which can be very upsetting for some dogs.

Cat care 

“Think about neutering your feline friends from four months old, which is recommended as otherwise you could be dealing with a litter of kittens that you’re unprepared for. This is equally as important for house cats, especially if you have given a home to two cats that are opposite sexes – even related moggies will produce kittens if they live together when unneutered.

“Just like female dogs, spaying can protect cats from developing pyometra, as well as preventing cancers of their womb or ovaries.

“Neutered male cats tend to be less inclined to fight other cats, reducing the chances of them contracting feline AIDS (FIV) from bites. Once males are neutered, they will be less likely to spray and their urine shouldn’t smell as strong.

Rest and recovery 

“Neutering is a relatively quick and straightforward operation that is carried out under anaesthetic. While any operation comes with risks, vets routinely carry out these procedures every day, and the chances of serious complications are very low. Your vet will discuss any concerns you may have.

“Recovery is usually a swift process – your furry friend will usually be sent home the same day. Just make sure you keep them well rested and pay attention to any aftercare advice your vet provides.

“It’s always much safer to have your cat or dog neutered while they’re younger, as the risk of developing health problems tends to increase with age.”

PDSA is the UK’s largest vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. www.pdsa.org.uk

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