“We cannot kill our way out of pet overpopulation. Spay and neuter -- it’s the only way.”
-- W. Marvin Mackie, DVM, pioneer of juvenile spay/neuter and creator of the QuickSpay® technique
American Humane supports the practice of juvenile spay/neuter and the establishment of high-quality, high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinics that ensure the accessibility and affordability of spay/neuter services for all pet owners across the country.
Generally, it is safe to spay or neuter most kittens and puppies at 8 weeks of age. However, be sure to check with your veterinarian and have your pet evaluated before scheduling spay or neuter surgery.
No. In fact, the risk of surgical complications is much lower for kittens and puppies than for mature pets:
(Source: Small Animal Surgery Textbook, 3rd Edition, 2007. Theresa Welch Fossum, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl ACVS)
No. In fact, the opposite is true. If spayed before their first heat cycle, the risk of mammary cancer in female dogs and cats is virtually eliminated. If allowed to go through even just one heat cycle, the risk of developing mammary cancer later in life greatly increases.
No. While 8 to 9 months is most typical for large-breed dogs, the fact is that cats and small-breed dogs often come into heat as early as 5 months of age. SPAY/USA, which operates over 1,000 high-volume spay/neuter clinics across the country, found that 9 percent of 5-month-old female cats were either pregnant or in heat at the time they were presented for spaying.
No. There are no health benefits in allowing a male dog to reach sexual maturity before neutering. And waiting can result in undesirable behaviors that can sometime be irreversible. Sexually mature male dogs and cats typically urine mark their territory. Once this behavior becomes routine for the animal, it can sometimes be impossible to break, even if the animal is then neutered. The same is true of aggressive behaviors in sexually mature males. It is much better to prevent these behaviors from developing by neutering your dog or cat at a young age.