Surgical & Dental Care
Make an Educated Decision
At Minnetonka Animal Hospital, we recommend spaying all female pets and neutering all male pets. Not only does this benefit your companion’s health, it also helps reduce animal overpopulation.
The behavioral and health benefits of spaying include:
- Prevents heat cycles and associated behaviors
- Decreases the risk of breast cancer
- Eliminates the risk of uterine infections and uterine cancer
- Increases lifespan
- Reduces unwanted puppies/kittens
Neutering helps mitigate the following issues among males:
- Decreases the desire to roam
- Reduces aggressive behavior
- Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer
- Reduces or eliminates spraying and marking
The Facts About Ovariohysterectomy (Spaying) and Castrating (Neutering)
Because we want all pet owners to make informed decisions, we’d like to address some common concerns about spaying/neutering, as well as offer cutting-edge information:
- Spaying results in the elimination of estrogen, which causes an increase in appetite and decrease in metabolism. The caloric needs of your pet can decrease by up to 25 percent, so dietary changes are necessary to prevent obesity.
- Female cats become more attentive and loving after being spayed.
- Castrating can decrease aggression toward other male dogs and cats, but it does not change aggressive tendencies toward humans.
In addition, the “ideal” age for spaying/neutering depends on many factors, including:
Humane societies and rescue organizations spay/neuter after 6–8 weeks of age
Spay/neuter by 5 months old to prevent unwanted litters
Lifestyle and size
- A small to medium-sized breed that will stay primarily indoors can be spayed/neutered between 5–6 months old.
- An athlete or working dog should be spayed/neutered between 12–18 months to decrease the chances of an orthopedic injury.
- Initial studies on golden retrievers and German shepherds suggest spaying/neutering after 12 months is best for a healthy skeleton and to decrease the risk of certain cancers.
Pet overpopulation is a significant concern. No one wants their neighborhood overrun by stray animals creating noise and other disturbances, causing auto accidents, and killing livestock or other pets. Strays can also carry rabies and other diseases, becoming a public health hazard.
Millions of dollars are spent each year on the care and shelter of unwanted and abandoned animals. By spaying or neutering your companion, you can help combat the problem of pet homelessness and protect your community.
Please contact us with additional questions about spaying/neutering.