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Say it Isn’t So. . . OK, it Isn’t

The Myths and Facts about Spaying and Neutering

I used to think that people didn’t sterilize their pets simply because it’s an additional cost. But I’ve since learned there are many reasons people avoid this important surgery, and most of those reasons are, in fact, myths. Read on:

MYTH: It’s better to let your female pet have one litter before spaying.

FACT: Medical evidence proves the opposite: females spayed before their first heat are healthier. Not only that, spaying before a first heat cuts down on the chance of mammary tumors later in life.

MYTH: Allowing my pet to have a litter lets my children witness the miracle of birth.

FACT: Unfortunately, this “miracle” comes with a big side of heartbreak because almost three million pets are euthanized each year. Instead, teach your children to respect all living creatures by sterilizing yours and helping to minimize pet overpopulation.

MYTH: My male pet will be embarrassed without his “man parts.”

FACT: Your male pet doesn’t know he has “man parts.” It’s more likely a projection of what YOU are feeling. (Ouch). If your dog’s manliness really concerns you, check out neuticles.Not kidding.

MYTH: Sterilized pets get fat and lazy.

FACT: The truth is that pets who get fat and lazy do so because they eat too much and don’t get enough exercise, just like people. If you are truly worried about this, be sure to take dogs for long walks, and have plenty of active play sessions with your cats.

MYTH: I can only have the perfect pet if I let my current perfect pet have babies. I want one just like her.

FACT: No pet will ever be a carbon copy of your current pet. There are shelter pets waiting for homes who are just as cute, smart, sweet, and loving in their own way. Let your next pet be an original!

MYTH: It’s expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.

FACT: Many low-cost options exist for spay/neuter services. Furthermore, charges mount up for unsterilized animals too: wounds due to fighting, kennel fees due to roaming, pet license fees that are usually at least double for non-sterilized pets.

MYTH: I’ll find good homes for all the puppies and kittens my pet has.

FACT: You may find homes for your pet’s puppies and kittens. But you can only control what decisions you make with your own pet, not the decisions other people make with theirs. Your pet’s puppies and kittens, or their puppies or kittens, may end up in an animal shelter. Further, for every puppy or kitten you hand out to someone, one in a shelter goes without a home and may be euthanized. There simply are not enough homes for them all.

Be sure to read our next post about how spaying and neutering is the KEY to overcoming our pet overpopulation problem.

The mission of Nantucket Safe Harbor for Animals, Inc. (NSHA) is to provide shelter and care for stray, homeless, unwanted or abandoned animals until they are adopted into responsible, lifelong homes and to promote animal welfare through humane education and advocacy.