What is the best age to spay or neuter (sterilize) my dog or cat?
Kittens can become pregnant as early as five months old. This means that your pet can reproduce much sooner than you think! By sterilizing your kitten between three and six months of age, you can prevent these accidents…and prevent unwanted, unplanned kittens from adding to the burden in our shelters.
Ideally female dogs should be spayed before their first heat cycle. But at the same time, we should allow enough time for optimal development of the musculoskeletal system. Heat cycles may begin as early as five months of age in small breeds, or later (8 to 10 months or more) in large breeds. The Clinique vétérinaire des petits animaux de l’Estrie recommends that you discuss with your veterinarian to decide the best time for spay/neuter your puppy.
What are the benefits of sterilization for my pet?
Sterilizing (spay/neutering) your cat or dog will increase their chances of living a longer and healthier life.
Spay/neutering your canine companion will increase their lifespan by an average of 1 to 3 years, and by 3 to 5 years for cats.
Spayed or neutered animals have a very low to no risk of mammary gland cancer, perianal tumors, uterine infections (pyometra), as well as uterine, ovarian and testicular cancers.
Spayed or neutered cats are much less prone to contracting certain life-threatening viruses.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (feline AIDS) is spread among cats by bites. Bite wounds are seen much more often in fertile cats because they have a greater urge to fight than sterilized cats.
Sterilizing your pet also means better peace of mind for you.
Sterilization reduces their urge to roam and consequently any disease or injury caused by roaming. Surveys show that as many as 85% of dogs hit by cars are not spayed or neutered.
As well, studies indicate that unneutered male cats living outside do not have a good chance of living beyond two years old.
Sterilization reduces or eliminates spraying or marking behavior in male and female cats, and greatly reduces the strong, unpleasant odour of their urine.