Benefits of Spaying

Dijana Katan, DVM, MPH, DABT
Associate Veterinarian, Clinical Toxicology
Pet Poison Helpline

Recently, there has been a lot of debate around spaying and neutering. While new research is continually being done resulting more information to be considered there are a few benefits of spaying your pet that have remained constant.

Spaying your pet results in a longer life span. Multiple studies have confirmed that pets who are spayed live longer. They are less likely to roam, have hormonal related aggression, and have inappropriate urine marking.  Eliminating these behaviors decreases the risk of traumatic injury (ex. being hit by a car) and decreases the risk of a pet being relinquished to a shelter. Other medical benefits include a significant decrease in the likelihood of getting mammary (breast)cancer, the most common type of cancer in female dogs. Additionally, spaying a pet eliminates the possibility that they will develop a uterine infection called a pyometra, that can occur in unspayed female pets.

In addition to having individual benefits, there are community benefits to spaying. Not only are spayed females less likely to be relinquished for the behavioral reasons above, they are less likely to end up relinquished to a shelter for any reason. Spaying also decreases unplanned and indiscriminate breeding aiding in non-lethal population control so that fewer pets are euthanized in shelters.