Should I Neuter My Dog or Cat?

There are certainly medical benefits to spaying and neutering each of the pets in your home. But what does it really mean to have your cat or dog neutered?

Below is our guide on what neutering is, some considerations when making the decision to neuter, the benefits of the procedure, and when it is best to have your pets neutered.

What Is Neutering?

Neutering, also referred to as a castration, is the surgical removal of a male pet's testicles. Spaying is the surgery’s female equivalent.

Medical Benefits of Neutering Your Dog or Cat

The primary objective of neutering is to make your pet sterile, eliminating their potential to add to the overpopulation of homeless puppies and kittens through unwanted pregnancies. Other than that, the procedure also has some medical benefits.

Neutering eliminates the potential for testicular cancer, and, in dogs, it reduces the risk of prostate enlargement, prostate cancer, and possibly even a type of cancer that develops around the anus.

When Should I Have My Cat or Dog Neutered?

Younger pets are great candidates for the surgery, with the best age for most pets between four months and six months. This should be just prior to the time when puppies and kittens develop the hormone that creates the desire to mate, however the timing that will be best for your pet will depend on his size and breed. Talk to your veterinarian about the age that is best to neuter your individual pet.

Older pets can also have surgery, like an adult neuter or spay. Though, at any age, it is recommended that you allow your local veterinarian to perform pre-surgical bloodwork, prior to administering anesthesia, to determine the health of the liver and kidneys. At Banfield, we require this bloodwork prior to every neutering, which gives your veterinarian a better idea of the risk that the anesthesia may place on your pet. Generally, a neutering is a one-day visit to the hospital for surgery, with an at-home recovery period following it.

Optimum Wellness Plans® Can Help Control the Cost of Neutering Your Dog or Cat

With twice-yearly comprehensive exams, routinely recommended vaccinations, diagnostic testing, the inclusion of a neutering as part of the package, and much more, Banfield’s puppy and kitten Optimum Wellness Plans® are designed especially for this young, developmental stage to get your new canine and feline family members off to the best start possible.

Need More Information on Neutering or Other Preventive Care Procedures?

If you have any further questions, contact your local veterinarian, or request an appointment to see when your cat or dog can be scheduled in for surgery. In the meantime, feel free to browse our Pet Health or Ask a Vet libraries to find more information about spaying and neutering, or look through the related content links below.