If you are considering spaying or neutering your pet, you may have questions about these surgical procedures, including what to expect and how your pet will benefit. The decision to spay or neuter your pet is one of the most important choices that you can make as a pet owner. Below, our Edmond veterinarians answer six of your most frequently asked questions about spay and neuter:

#1: What do “spay” and “neuter” mean?

“Spay” and “neuter” are two terms for a surgical procedure that is performed to prevent dogs and cats from reproducing. Spaying is the surgical removal of a female animal’s ovaries and uterus. Neutering is the surgical removal of a male animal’s testes. These procedures are common, safe and completely effective for preventing reproduction.

#2: How are spay and neuter operations good for my pet?

The decision to spay or neuter your pet will lead to many important health benefits. For example, spaying female animals before they reach sexual maturity significantly reduces the risk for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer. Neutering males also prevents testicular cancer.

#3: How is spaying/neutering good for the community?

Spaying and neutering is good for the community because these operations help to reduce the unwanted animal population. Many pet owners are surprised to learn that even the purebred offspring of beloved family pets end up in animal shelters. Even in “no kill” shelters, overcrowding can lead to poor living conditions for pets. By spaying or neutering your pet, you prevent your pet from reproducing and contributing to the animal overpopulation problem. Additionally, you can help encourage pet owners to adopt their pets from your local shelter rather than purchasing pets that are “bred at home”.

#4: At what age can I spay or neuter my pet?

Puppies and kittens are often spayed or neutered before reaching sexual maturity. If you have recently adopted a puppy or kitten, it is recommended that you spay or neuter your pet before they reach six months of age. However, animals may be spayed or neutered at any age.

#5: Will my pet get fat and lazy after spay and neuter surgery?

Spay and neuter procedures will not make your pet fat or lazy! While you may notice a few subtle changes in your male pet’s behavior, such as less aggression around strangers, this does not mean that your pet’s personality has changed. Additionally, pets only gain weight when they are under-exercised and overfed. As long as you continue to provide your pet with regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet, your pet should not gain weight.

#6: My pet just had a litter; can I still get her fixed?

Absolutely! Your female pet can be spayed as soon as her litter is weaned; this typically occurs within eight weeks of the litter’s birth. Talk to our Edmond veterinarian and call us at (405) 330-0676 to learn more about spaying your female pet after she has a litter.