Each day thousands of puppies and kittens are born in this country and many will end up in shelters if they are lucky or if unlucky abandoned on the street, in bins or barrancos. The good news is you can personally make a difference by spaying or castrating your dog or cat.

Sadly, there are still many misconceptions about spaying and castration. Once you know the facts, you’ll agree, spaying and castration just makes sense.

MYTH: Spaying or castration is expensive.

FACT: Spay and castration surgery carries a one-time cost that is relatively small when you consider the benefits. And remember this: the health care bills for an entire litter of puppies or kittens can add up quickly. In addition, spaying and castration reduces or eliminates the possibility of cancers and other diseases of the reproductive system. Ask your veterinarian about financial assistance, payment plans, or the name of a reputable organization that may perform the surgery for a reduced fee or for free.

MYTH: It’s a shame to alter a pure bred dog.

FACT: Unless you plan to show your dog/cat, spaying and castration is highly recommended for their health and well-being. Spayed and castrated dogs are still eligible for obedience trials, field trials, hunting trials, and agility.

MYTH: It’s healthier for a female dog/cat to have a litter.

FACT: Actually, evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat cycle are typically healthier. If you spay a female when she’s young, you decrease the chance of mammary cancers, and other illnesses.

MYTH: My dog/cat will get fat and lazy.

FACT: Overeating and lack of exercise will cause them to become fat and lazy, not spaying and castration. Some dogs/cats do become more interested in food after being altered, so you may need to feed smaller portions.

MYTH: Their behaviour will change after being altered.

FACT: You might be surprised to learn that spaying and castration may improve your dog’s/cats temperament. Those that are spayed or castrated tend to focus more on their owners and less on their mating drives. Males become less aggressive, less territorial, and wander less from their owners.

Ask your vet if you have questions, he or she can fully explain spay and castration procedures to you and recommend the best age to have this surgery.  There is no age limit for healthy dogs to be spayed or castrated, and even older pets can benefit from the surgery.