Sunday, August 10, 2014

NO MORE EXCUSES, Spay/Neuter Your Pet

I have heard so many stories recently about why people will not spay or neuter their pets. One woman trying to find homes for a liter of puppies stated pregnancies happen some times. Another said her dogs don't need to be fixed because they are indoor dogs and don't socialize with other dogs. Others have said they wanted their children to witness the miracle of birth, or the dogs won't live satisfied lives if they are fixed, they can't afford spaying/neutering, or they need to breed to be healthy. These are just excuses of irresponsible pet owners. Owning a pet is a responsibility. Houston currently has 600,000 to 1.2 million homeless dogs living in the streets and parks. City Animal Control receives 400 calls a day and receives nearly 2,000 animals a month. This does not include those brought in to Harris County, three other official shelters in the city, or those abandoned and rescued by volunteer groups. There are more than 140 rescue groups working in the Houston area trying to feed and rescue as many of these dogs as possible, but if people were to have their pets spayed/neutered, we would not have so many homeless/abandoned dogs on the streets.

Everyone knows puppies are cute and kids love them. They are hard to resist. I know, I have been swayed by that sweet puppy breathe and adorable antics myself. But before you say yes to that crying child or yourself, ask yourself if you are prepared to provide the best and healthiest home for that cute little pup. Puppies grow up to be dogs! While they are still under a year of age they must be de-wormed, given shots, and can be spayed/neutered at 8 weeks. After 1 year, healthy dogs require a yearly vet visit and rabies shot and may need other booster shots to remain healthy.

Small breed dogs can come into heat as young as 5 months so the younger you spay, the less chance you have of being one of those people that end up with an unwanted liter of pups. Spayed/neutered pets are also healthy and happy pets. Birthing and nursing a liter is a strain on even a healthy dog. If the mother dog is not monitored she may become malnourished and could even develop seizures. If you think you can't afford to spay/neuter your pet when get her/him, how do you think you are going to afford caring for a liter of pups??

Spaying/Neutering can keep dogs from getting ovarian and uterine cancers as well as testicle cancer. It also reduces the desire to roam and escape the yard. Spaying/neutering does not change your dogs personality, he/she will still be that lovable dog they were before the surgery. Spaying/Neutering may lead to weight gain in less active dogs, but your vet can recommend a lower calorie food and feeding schedule to prevent this.

So please, NO MORE EXCUSES, spay or neuter your pet. Call your veterinarian and make an appointment tomorrow morning. If you don't have a vet, ask for recommendations from friends/family or check with your local shelter. Check with local rescue groups for low cost/free spay and neuter programs. Be a responsible pet owner. Love your animals and provide them with the best life possible.

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