Hidden Valley Animal Clinic

100 Oakhurst Drive
McMurray, PA 15317

(724)941-3900

www.hiddenvalleyac.com

Behavioral Benefits of Spaying/Neutering

Unaltered pets have many undesirable behavioral characteristics and conditions that are caused by the surges of hormones that occur during the heat and mating cycles. During these surges, your pets will not be able to control their behavior, and may indulge in spraying to mark their territory (outside and inside your home), roaming, biting, fighting—anything to find and secure a mate.

Negative effects of these behaviors are numerous—from your pet waking you up with incessant howling to your pet getting lost, stolen, injured or killed. Spaying and neutering eliminates the majority of these behavioral problems, helping dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.

Spaying or neutering your pet will result in:
Calmer Demeanor
Easier to Train, Better Behaved
Fewer Injuries, Fewer Lost Pets
Cleaner House and Yard
Less Aggression
Better Home Environment

Read all about these benefits below!
Calmer Demeanor
While in heat and while pregnant, female cats and dogs are temperamental, aggressive and often display nervous or anxious behavior. Female cats are notorious for their incessant, loud yowling. They are also known to roll repeatedly on the ground and constantly rub against furniture or their owners' legs.

Unaltered male dogs and cats are very obnoxious and aggressive when it comes to protecting their territory and finding a mate. They will growl, hiss, nip, bite and fight if they feel their territory is being trespassed upon or if they sense a female in heat. They can also mount legs and knock down small children.

Spaying and neutering pets makes them more affectionate, reliable companions. They become more kitten- and puppy-like in their behavior because they are not driven by hormones to reproduce and protect their territory. In sum, they are more pleasant to have around.

Easier to Train, Better Behaved
Altered pets are less distracted by sexual instincts. This means that they are better able to keep their minds on what they are doing and/or learning, which makes them more reliable “watch dogs” and more responsive to family members.

More Obedient – Altered pets will have increased concentration. They will be much better students with much longer attention spans.

More Skilled Hunting Companions – Sterilization actually improves hunting instincts. Unaltered pets often have their minds on mating or fighting, which distracts them from the task at hand. Sterilized pets can focus on the hunt, making them more dependable when you need them. Plus, unspayed hunting dogs have heat cycles 6 weeks during the year, and females in heat are not physically up to hunting.


Fewer Injuries, Fewer Lost Pets
– Research shows that of all the positive behavior changes neutering ensures, roaming shows the greatest degree of change. Fertile cats are driven by their hormones to seek out a mate, even if they are confined indoors. A sexually active male will patrol the boundaries of his “territory” and constantly widen them, always on the lookout for receptive females. Female pets in heat release airborne chemical attractants called pheromones. If there is a female in heat within many miles, your male pet will find her—even if he needs to break down doors or jump fences. Unneutered pets cannot control their mating instincts.

Along with this comes the potential to get lost, hit by a car or injured in a traumatic accident, or contract a deadly contagious disease. Terrible, bloody fights can occur when several males pursue a female in heat, even if she is confined indoors, and the vet bills can be staggering. Plus, your male pet is almost certain to be responsible for numerous unwanted litters while he is on the prowl.

Roaming is not only a problem with males. During the stage in the heat cycle when a female is receptive towards males, she may go to great lengths to escape from the house to find a mate.

Fewer Injuries and Deaths – Fertile cats tend to roam, run away and get into fights over territory and potential mates. This leads to devastating injuries and often death. If your pet does survive a bloody fight and manages to return home, you will be faced with some hefty veterinary expenses, not to mention the heartbreak of seeing your pet in pain.

Statistics show that 90% of the millions of cats and 80% of the dogs hit and killed by vehicles on the road are unsterilized.


Cleaner House and Yard
– Unaltered pets will spray to mark their territory. Although spraying is much more common in males, some females will do it too, and the urge to spray increases if there are other pets in the household or neighborhood. Male cat urine has an obnoxious, potent, musky ammonia smell that will permeate the air in and around your home. Uncastrated males will indulge in territorial urine marking on every upright surface they can find, including your doorstep, windows and expensive flowers and shrubs (and your neighbor's).

Fewer Noisy Strays in Your Yard – When your female pet is in heat, she releases pheromones, airborne chemical attractants that travel through the air for great distances. All the unneutered males within a few mile radius of your home will be able to sense her heat and will seek her out. Stray males and pets who escape from their owners will appear on your doorstep, camp out in your yard and fight one another. Your home will become a magnet to noisy, fighting, bothersome male dogs and/or cats.

Fewer Messy Stains in Your Home – Spaying your female dog eliminates the vaginal bleeding that accompanies her heat, which typically lasts for about 3 weeks. It also eliminates staining expensive carpets and furniture. At the same time, female pets in heat and pregnant are likely to break housetraining, and unneutered male dogs have been known to urinate in the house.


Less Aggression
Fertile male cats and dogs can be highly aggressive toward other males. In males, the androgen hormones, of which testosterone is the most important, are responsible for the development of many negative behavioral patterns, including aggression. Testosterone is produced within the testicles, which are removed during the neutering procedure.

As a male reaches full physical and sexual maturity, he becomes more and more protective of what he considers “his” territory. His definition of “his” area tends to change, and the boundaries enlarge, until sometimes an entire square block or country mile falls within his territory.

If other males trespass on his territory, he will fight to defend it—especially if he senses a female in heat nearby. Often, owners are not aware of the fighting until a tragedy occurs, and their male or another male is severely hurt or even killed. “But he's always so gentle” is a common cry of an upset owner in these circumstances. And he is gentle until another male invades his property. Then his territorial instincts override any social behavior he may have learned, and he defends his turf, sometimes to the death.


Better Home Environment
Sterilized pets are calmer, more even tempered and more pleasant to have around.

Neutering and spaying relieves the sexual frustration fertile pets deal with, which is solely due to increased hormone levels during the heat. Pets have no psychological sex drive. Once they are altered, they no longer feel the chemical drive to reproduce, so they are more content and better behaved. They can relax and enjoy being part of the family.

Fewer Annoying/Embarrassing Habits – Altered pets are less likely to cry or howl incessantly, nip, growl or hiss at visitors, mount furniture or people's legs, climb on visitors or knock small children down. Altered dogs are also safer to have around—unneutered dogs are two to three times more likely to bite than their sterilized counterparts.
Less Likely to Spray
Less Likely to Roam