Arts & Life

Pet Patter: to spay or not to spay

This monthly column is a space for simple, useful directions, tips and information to help you keep your animals safe and happy. 


As an animal care giver I am astonished to still see so many un-neutered dogs at dog parks. I ask the parents why this is so and the response is usually related to breeding. They wish to breed their dogs for the money. If you are one of those people who are considering this, or if you are thinking about buying a dog from a breeder, I ask you to think again. Literally millions of dogs per year are killed in shelters and many thousands more are waiting in those shelters for a home. They are waiting for you to come, rescue them and give them the life they deserve. Rescued dogs are often so grateful, knowing somehow that you have saved them from a premature death.

Below are some reasons why spaying and neutering your cat or dog is the right move:

1) Many diseases will be avoided, including breast and ovarian cancer for the girls, and testicular cancer and prostate cysts for the boys.

2) Female dogs have menstrual cycles. This means for a few days a month your dog will leave small and bloody stains on carpet, couches, your lap.

3) Neutering your boy means less aggression, as well as in-appropriate pee marking. Plus you reduce or eliminate their need to mount other dogs or your own leg. Many dogs, whether sterilized or not, consider an un-neutered male a threat or rival.

4) Un-spayed or un-neutered dogs and cats feel a primal need to roam around in search of a booty call. They can get lost, or run into the street to be hit by cars.

5) Un-sterilized pets experience stress and anxiety because their hormonal needs are not being met. They are uncomfortable, frustrated and uneasy.

[related_content slugs=”pet-patter-dog-massage-part-two-therein-lies-rub,pet-patter-saving-your-pets-life-part-three-choking,pet-patter-animal-grab-bag,pet-patter-for-the-love-of-leash” description=”More Pet Patter” position=”right”]It is important to wait until your animal is sexually mature as their bones need to be fully formed to discourage knee problems, torn ligaments and hip dysplasia. With girls this is accomplished by allowing them to experience menstruation/heat once, and with boys their teeth need to be fully grown.

Stay away from breeders. Shun pet stores. Do the right thing for your beloved animals. Everybody wins.


Samantha Bennett lives and writes in Montreal and is the owner of the pet care business Soins Mille Pattes. She can be reached at