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Top 10 Reasons To Neuter Your Pet

Posted December 22, 2014 in Dog Surgery A-Z

Chris Longenecker, a Certified Veterinary Technician in Reading, PA, contributed to this article.

Are you wondering whether you should neuter your cat or your dog?  Here is a non-exhaustive list of 10 reasons to proceed.

1. Unwanted pregnancies
The problem with an intact male is that it’s hard for him to resist a female in heat! An intact male can run away and follow the smell of a female in heat located miles away.  In addition, you may be liable if your male procreates with somebody’s prized female. Suddenly, the miracle of life has a bittersweet taste, doesn’t it?

2. Pet overpopulation
Meanwhile, 3 to 4 million of unwanted pets are euthanized each year. At least some of these deaths could have been prevented by neutering males (and spaying females). In the shelter world, this is known as pet overpopulation.
In essence, sterilizing your pet ultimately makes the world a better place. 

3. Behavior 
Unneutered pets have all kinds of behavioral problems. In male dogs, the most common behavior is an aggressive temper.  Of course, there are many intact pets who are perfectly sweet.  Neutering, when done early in life, can reduce aggressiveness and improve behavior overall. For example, it decreases the always-embarrassing "mounting" behavior in dogs.

4. Marking
Few things smell worse than intact male cat urine.  Some people make their indoor cat an outdoor cat when they can't tolerate the smell anymore. This increases the risk of being hit by a car. Neutering, when done early enough in life, virtually eliminates the odor of male cat urine and should prevent marking in male dogs.

5. Roaming and getting in trouble 
Pets are rarely taught how to cross the street safely. So as they roam, searching for a partner or looking for trouble, they might get hit by a car. In fact, many pets treated for a fracture are intact. Neutering decreases the urge to roam or run away from home. In addition, neutering decreases the risk of getting into fights, notoriously in tom cats. They commonly get abscesses from these fights.

Family and emergency vets regularly see wounds from dog bites, and I assure you that it’s rarely pretty.  I’ve seen many dogs die after getting attacked by another dog.

6. Roaming and getting lost
Every year, millions of pets get lost. Some are returned to their owner. Most are not.  To decrease the risk of

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Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a board-certified veterinary surgeon and author. His traveling practice takes him all over Eastern Pennsylvania and Western New Jersey. You can visit his website at, and follow him at