Spay and Neuter: Improving the Lives of Dogs and Cats Throughout Reno, NV At Damonte Ranch Animal Hospital, we regularly perform spay and neuter surgeries on dogs and cats to prevent unwanted litters, which indirectly benefits shelter animals, too. Fewer stray dogs and cats on the streets means fewer animals in shelters--and more animals in warm, loving forever homes. But there are other benefits that accompany spaying and neutering as well; various health and behavioral issues can be reduced or prevented entirely with spaying and neutering. Call (775) 852-8522 to schedule your pet’s spay or neuter appointment today. (775) 852-8522 When Should My Pet be Spayed or Neutered? Ideally, dogs and cats should undergo their spay/neuter surgery at or around a certain age: Kittens: 4+ months Small and medium-sized dogs: 6+ months Large and extra-large dog breeds: 9-12+ months Depending on your pet’s health and development, the age at which they are spayed or neutered might vary. However, the goal is to spay/neuter your pet early enough to reduce their chances for future health problems, while also waiting long enough for their bones and joints to develop properly. For large and extra-large dog breeds, growth takes longer. Because their sex hormones play an important role in their growth rate, spaying/neutering too soon could interfere with their proper growth and development. How Your Pet Benefits from Their Spay/Neuter Procedure Spaying or neutering your pet has an important part to play in their long-term health. It can also lessen or even prevent certain behaviors, like marking/spraying urine in the house, mounting other dogs/cats, roaming, and loud vocalizations. The health benefits of spay and neuter surgeries include: Minimizing (but not eliminating) the risk of mammary gland tumors in dogs and cats; 50% of which are malignant in dogs and 85% of which are malignant in cats Minimizing the risk of pyometra, an infection of the uterus, or ovarian and uterine cancers in females Lowering the risk in males for testicular and perianal tumors and prostate disease Common Spay and Neuter Myths There are a few misconceptions about spaying and neutering dogs and cats that we would like to address. Spaying or neutering my pet will cause them to gain weight. Your pet’s metabolism will start to slow down once they reach maturity, and this often coincides with their spay or neuter procedure. Fortunately, keeping your pet on a balanced diet, giving out treats sparingly, and engaging your pet in regular exercise should keep them at a healthy, normal weight. If your pet needs help losing weight or is showing signs of sudden weight gain or loss, get in touch with us so we can help you determine the cause. It’s better if my female dog or cat has at least one litter. Your pet will not be missing out on anything if they don’t have a litter of puppies or kittens. In fact, even going through just one heat cycle will increase their chances of developing mammary gland tumors later on. This is why we strongly recommend spaying your pet before they can have their first heat cycle. Spaying/neutering my pet will make them more mellow. While spaying and neutering can help reduce certain hormonal behaviors in dogs and cats, it does not alter the personality. If your pet is naturally more hyper and outgoing among people and other animals, they will continue to be so (unless you enroll them in training, which could help them stay on their best behavior around guests).