Spaying or neutering your pet is one of the most important choices you will make as a pet owner. Altering your pet will impact their health and behavior, often dramatically. We recommend spaying or neutering your pet as early as 6 months of age, for several reasons.

Behavior problems. Intact animals, especially males, often have more aggressive tendencies toward humans as well as other animals. They may be driven to mark their territory—which may include your carpet. Unlike humans, animals do not have a sense of self-worth attached to their bodies and a male will not "feel bad" about being neutered.

Heath issues. Spaying at an early age dramatically reduces the risk of mammary cancer and eliminates uterine infections, a common and life-threatening problem. Neutering males eliminates any risk of testicular cancer, and reduces prostate hyperplasia, a cause of prostate cysts and infections. Contrary to popular belief, there is no health or behavior benefit to breeding a female even once before spaying, and this misconception has contributed greatly to the homeless pet problem. Nor will alteration cause your pet to get fat—weight is determined by exercise and calories.

Safety. Intact animals are more driven to roam and therefore comprise the majority of animals hit by cars.

Pet overpopulation. Approximately 50,000 pets are euthanized each year in Oregon shelters alone. About 25% percent of these animals are purebreds.

Myths and Facts About Spaying and Neutering

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