If you know us, then you already know we are huge advocates for spay and neutering. February is National Prevent a Litter Month from the National Humane Education Society in observation of spay and neutering to prevent homeless animals. Whether it be dogs, cats or even rabbits, spaying to avoid pregnant mommas greatly reduces the risk of overpopulation in all species. So how can you be apart of this effort?
1. Spay your own pets
Kittens can become pregnant at 4 months and dogs between 5-6 months. Just because they're babies still doesn't mean they can't have their own. Spaying at an early age can avoid accidental pregnancies No one should be worried about the cost as there are numerous low-cost and free options available in most areas. Programs are run by private non-profits or public city shelters. You can keep up with them on their Facebook pages for their free/low-cost spay/neuter events that usually take place a few times a month!
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2. Be part of TNR
TNR stands for "Trap, neuter, release" for feral/stray cats. There are plenty of organizations that focus on going out and trapping these cats to get them fixed and then released back to where they're from. One unspayed female and her offspring can produce about 420,000 kittens in just seven years. You can go out and join one of these organizations OR follow their steps to do their own TNR. It's simple! You just put out a special trap then take them to your local shelter for the neuter and release part! They'll even clip the cats' ears so others know that they have been altered.
3. Avoid expensive vet bills
Did you know the average cost of ovariohysterectomy in females who suffer from pyometra is around $1200 - $2800? This effects both dogs and cats but is much more common in female dogs. Pyometra is basically pus in the uterus that's caused by a secondary bacterial infection as a result of females being in heat and allowing bacteria to enter.
4. Don't listen to the myths
There are so many myths that float around about the dangers or issues with spaying and neutering dogs and cats. These are often then used as an excuse to not do it with no backing. No, they won't gain weight from being fixed, lack of exercise causes weight gain (just like in people!). And no, male dogs won't miss their manhood, they don't have a sense of that concept!
Choosing to not contribute to pet overpopulation is something so simple we can all do as pet owners. For low-cost solutions, you can reach out to your local humane society or public animal shelter.
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