Pet Care

Spay or Neuter Your Pet

The birth of a litter of puppies or kittens is certainly a miracle to behold. But it’s time for a reality check - there are simply not enough homes for all the puppies and kittens being born. As a responsible owner, it is your duty to show true compassion for your dog or cat by having your pet spayed (for females) or neutered (for males) before 6 months of age.

Urban Myths

There are people who would give you all kinds of reasons why you should not alter your pets and even quote medical research to back up their claims. But, if you look closely, you will find that the “research” is not accepted by the major canine health professional bodies in the world. Some of the myths surrounding spaying and neutering are:

  • The dog will get fat: FALSE. Because neutering can help to calm a testosterone-driven dog, he can sometimes become less active after neutering and this might cause him to put on weight.  However, it is up to the owner to either adjust the quantity or type of food being offered, and arrange for the dog to get his exercise in other ways.
  • Not being able to have at least one litter of puppies or kittens will cause the female to become neurotic and depressed.  FALSE.  This is like saying that not having a child will cause a human woman to become neurotic and depressed.  There is no medical evidence to substantiate this claim.
  • I want my children to experience the miracle of birth.  You should be more interested in having your children learn what it means to be a responsible adult.  There are no figures available for Trinidad and Tobago, but in the United States it is estimated that over 8 million dogs are destroyed every year because they could not find homes. Allowing an animal to be born, knowing that it will probably be killed, is irresponsible.

Top 10 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Dog

  1. Altered dogs and cats, on average, live longer, healthier lives.
  2. Female dogs spayed before their first birthday are 99.9 percent less likely to develop reproductive cancer.
  3. Spaying dramatically reduces the animal’s risk of developing uterine infections, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer
  4. Neutered males have far fewer prostate problems (including cysts, abscesses, and prostate cancer) than do unaltered males, and they can’t develop testicular cancer.
  5. Eighty percent of dogs struck by vehicles are unaltered males
  6. The males are less likely to roam, fight, demonstrate aggressiveness (the majority of dog bites are from unaltered male dogs), or display hyperactive behaviour.
  7. Altered dogs behave better and are more focused on training.
  8. You’ll help to stop overpopulation. One female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in just six years.
  9. You’ll help to stop homelessness. Only one in four dogs find a permanent, loving home. Even though puppies may be adopted, a lot are relinquished to shelters when they reach maturity.
  10. You’ll help to lower the death rate. Thousands of dogs and cats are destroyed each year in Trinidad and Tobago – many in very inhumane ways - because there are not enough homes for them.

Tips on Spaying/Neutering

  • Thanks to improved surgical and anaesthesia equipment and techniques, you can spay a female or neuter a male as early as 8 weeks of age.
  • Schedule the surgical appointment select a time when you will be home for a couple of days after the surgery—weekends are good—so that you can provide comfort and reassurance to your healing friend.
  • Make sure and give the dog the post-operative pain killers that are prescribed.  People used to believe that if a dog is not crying, he or she is not in pain.  This has been found to be untrue as dogs that are suffering chronic pain seldom make any sound at all.