Frequently Asked Questions
Pet Aid League
Broward County, Florida

(1) Will my pet become fat and lazy?

Neutered or not, if you overfeed your pets and don't exercise them properly, they will gain excess weight which will cause them to be even less active.  In most cases, spayed or neutered pets are less nervous and high strung, since altering eliminates the natural desire to wander in search of a mate.

(2) What if I wanted another pet with the same wonderful personality and temperament as my own pet?

Breeding two purebred animals rarely results in offspring that are exactly like one of the parents.  With mixed breeds it is virtually impossible.

(3)  Will neutering or spaying change my pet's personality?

Any change that may occur will be for the better.  After being altered, your pet may be less aggressive toward other dogs or cats, may develop a sweeter personality, and may be less likely to wander.  Spraying (urine marking), which is often done by dogs and cats to mark their territory, diminished or ceases after pets are altered.


(4)  Can't we make lots of money by selling our pet's puppies or kittens?

Even well-known breeders are fortunate to break even on raising purebred litters.  When you consider the expense: possible stud fees, vaccinations, and feeding quality food to an extra 5 to 13 animals per litter, most of the profit is quickly consumed.

(5)  Aren't I depriving my children of an important educational experience by not allowing them to witness the miracle of our pet giving birth?

Pets often have their litters in the middle of the night or in a place of their own choosing.  Because pets need privacy when giving birth, any unnecessary intrusion can cause the mother to become seriously upset, resulting in the possibility of her unwillingness to care for the offspring or in injury to the owner or pet.

A more important educational experience for your children would be to take them on a tour of your local animal shelter where they will see how many wonderful pets are already born that need homes.

(6)  Isn't it dangerous to put a pet under anesthetic for this kind of elective surgery?

Although there is always a slight risk involved, the anesthetics currently used by veterinarians are very safe.  Many veterinarians use equipment that monitors heart and respiratory rates during surgery to ensure that their patients are doing well under anesthetic.  Based on a brief examination of your pet, the veterinarian determines whether the animal is healthy enough to withstand the surgery.  Thus, the medical benefits far outweigh the risk involved.

(7)  Is spay/neuter painful?  Can it harm my cat or dog?

The animals are fully anesthetized during the surgery, so they feel no pain.  Afterwards most seem to experience some discomfort, but this usually disappears within a few days or even a few hours.

(8)  At what age is it safe to spay or neuter my pet?

Recent studies have shown that early age (2-4 months) spaying/neutering does not pose any additional risk to the animal.  Contrary to the somewhat antiquated belief that a female should have at least one litter or go through at least one heat prior to being  spayed, the maximum health benefits are gained by having the surgery done prior to sexual maturity (no later than 5 months old).  This holds true for both males and females; however, older adult animals will benefit from spaying/neutering as well.  Most of the vets participating in our low cost program will do the surgeries on animals as young as 4 months and as old as 10 years.

(9)  Can a pregnant dog or cat be safely spayed?

Many dogs and cats are spayed while pregnant to prevent the birth of puppies or kittens.  The veterinarian, however, considers the health of the pregnant dog or cat before deciding if she can be safely spayed.

(10)  If I find good homes for the offspring of my own pets, how am I contributing to the pet over-population problem in my community?

There are too many wonderfully lovable dogs and cats that inhabit the local animal shelters in most every community.  Most of these pets had a home once, but because of a myriad of intolerant, selfish reasons or, in some cases, unfortunate circumstances, these animals have ended up as orphans through no fault of their own.  When you or I allow our pets to have even just one litter, and we find our pet's puppies or kittens good homes, those good homes are no longer available for the shelter animals.  Don't they deserve a chance first?  What if someday you yourself, for some unfortunate reason, had to give up your loving companion to a shelter?  Wouldn't you like to believe there is another good home available for them?

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