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Pet Care Advice > NeuteringNeutering is important to prevent unwanted litters

Neutering makes sense. There are already thousands of unwanted animals in RSPCA and other charity-run animal rescue centres. As a responsible pet owner, you need to make sure you are not contributing to the problem.

There are also significant health and behavioural benefits to neutering, so it is the kind and sensible decision to make.

What is neutering?

Neutering or 'spaying' a female animal involves removing the womb and ovaries. Males are castrated - the testicles are removed. Both operations are straightforward - they are carried out under general anaesthetic and the animals recover quickly.

What are the benefits to me and my pet?

Neutered pets are generally more friendly, more settled and much easier to care for. Neutering will prevent females from having unwanted litters and it will make male pets less likely roam, fight and injure themselves. Neutering also protects against some common disease problems, such as pyometra (infection of the uterus), mammary tumours, false pregnancy and prostate disease.

Please download our fact-sheet to the left of this page to learn more about the health and behavioural benefits of neutering, in dogs, cats and rabbits.

When should animal be neutered?

A pet can be neutered at any time during it’s life. However, it is most beneficial if done at an early age. Both dogs and cats can be neutered from 12 weeks of age. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to offer you further advice on the best time to neuter your pet.

Will my pet put on weight?

Not necessarily. As long as the pet is fed sensibly and gets enough exercise they will not put on weight. But a neutered animal may not need as much food as before and you should keep an eye on what you are giving it.

Is it best to let my pet have one litter first?

No, this is a myth. There is no good reason for letting a dog, cat, or rabbit produce a litter and the normal health risks associated with birth and pregnancy can actually be harmful.

Will neutering change my pet’s temperament?

It would be rare for neutering to have any adverse effect on temperament. Neutering may produce positive behavioural changes, such as making them calmer, friendlier and less likely to be aggressive.

I’m worried that neutering isn’t natural?

Neither is keeping dogs as domestic pets! In the wild, dogs would have to hunt for their own food and get exercise through hunting; we now provide food and exercise for our pet dogs. Neutering serves to control behavioural problems and diseases that are associated with a domestic lifestyle. Neutering stops dogs becoming frustrated, which in turn makes them happier.

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