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256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
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Cats 101

Why It’s Important to Vaccinate Your Pet

In the world today, there are numerous controversies over whether or not certain vaccines are necessary in humans, but a problem that doesn’t often come up is the vaccinations in pets. Animals are often just as at risk for disease as people are but unlike us, they can’t rely on themselves to take the necessary precautions. That leaves you, as their owner, to decide what’s best for them.

 

 

Vaccines 

 

What is a vaccine?

A product designed to produce protective immune responses and prepare the immune system to fight future infection from the disease the vaccine is designed for.

 

How does it do this?

Vaccines stimulate the immune system’s production of the antibodies that identify and destroy disease-causing agents entering the body.

 

Can a vaccine only protect against one disease?

No. Some vaccines are designed to protect against several diseases or several strains of the same disease.

 

Are vaccines one and done?

While it is a common belief that some vaccinations only need to be administered once, in most cases this is false. The best way to protect against diseases such as rabies or Lyme disease is to talk to your doctor about a schedule of when these need to be administered and how often. While some vaccines may need to be given annually for many it is more likely to be once every two or three years.

 

Vaccines and My Pet

 

Do vaccines guarantee protection in my pet?

It is very rare that a vaccine is not designed to eliminate the risk of a disease altogether and just as rare that a pet immune system will not be able to fend off the disease altogether after being vaccinated.

 

What specific vaccinations should my pet be receiving?

There are two different categories of vaccines that your pet may receive: Core and Non-core. Core vaccines are determined based on the region of the world that your pet lives in and are to protect against diseases most common in that area. Non-core vaccinations are individual to each pet based on their health and their risk. You can talk with your vet about what vaccines will be best for your pet based on their risk and exposure to different environments.

 

If I’m traveling with my pet, are their vaccines they may need to get?

Depending on how far away you are going, how long you’ll be gone, and how different the area is from where you live, your doctor may recommend certain vaccines to ensure that your pet remains protected in a new place. It is not entirely uncommon that some countries will require that incoming animals be vaccinated against diseases common to the area.

 

Vaccines and Their Risks

 

Are there risks to vaccinating my pet?

It is unlikely you’ll find a medical treatment that is entirely risk-free but it is very rare that a pet young or old will respond poorly to a vaccine. Any risk that is associated with a vaccine should be weighed against the protection of not only your pet against potentially fatal diseases but your community as well.

 

Are their specific responses to a vaccine that I should be worried about?
 
While the majority of responses will be mild and short term there are uncommon but potentially serious responses that are possible if unlikely. One of the rare serious reactions in cats is a tumor which can occur anywhere from weeks to years after the vaccination however improvements in vaccinations have made and continue to make this occurrence less and less likely.

 

Aside from the risks, are there side effects associated with vaccines?

Side effects are common even in human vaccinations and so it is common for pets to experience some mild side effects following hours after receiving their vaccine. However, if these side effects last for more than a couple days after the vaccine then you will want to contact your vet.

 

Vaccines and Their Side Effects

 

What are the side effects I should be aware of?
 
Side effects include but are not limited to:

  • Sneezing
  • Mild coughing
  • Mild fever
  • Discomfort at the vaccination site
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased activity

 

Are there side effects associated with a more serious reaction?

Yes, there are some less common but more severe side effects that should be brought to immediate attention with a doctor and in some cases may be life-threatening. These include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Itchy or bumpy skin
  • Swelling of the muzzle or around the face and eyes
  • Severe coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Continuous vomiting
  • Persistent Diarrhea
  • Collapse


Are all side effects that persist cause for concern?

While continuity of any of the side effects listed above over a number of days should be brought up with a doctor, a common occurrence in pets is a small swelling under the skin at the vaccination site. This should begin to disappear in a couple of weeks but if it persists and appears to get bigger up to three weeks, then you should see a doctor.

 

Vaccines and Puppies and Kittens

 

Why do puppies and kittens require so many vaccinations?
 
As with human babies, young animals are at a higher risk of contracting disease because of an immature immune system that has to develop as they get older. While for the first few months of their life they will receive some protection from the antibodies in their mother’s milk, once you’ve adopted them that protection begins to go away and they need to be protected another way.

 

Are vaccinations different for puppies and kittens because their immune system isn’t fully developed?

The vaccine that your pet will get will serve as a prep for your pet’s immune system against diseases. The vaccines that follow it will then stimulate the immune system so that it begins producing those protective antibodies.

 

Is there a specific order or schedule that should be followed for young pets?
 
For the best protection, the vaccination should be scheduled during the first months of the pets life about three or four weeks apart from one another. Typically, the last set of vaccines is given when the animal reaches about four months however schedules may be altered by doctors depending on individual pets. Often times if you are getting your pet from a breeder, they can take care of these things in the months that the pet lives with them before coming to you. If that is not the case, often times the breeder or shelter you’re are getting the animal from will give you a list of comprehensive information on what your pet will need during the first months of their life with you.
 

Vaccines and Why My Pet Should Have Them

 

How will vaccines benefit my pet?

The widespread use of vaccines on pets over the last century has saved millions of animafromfor disease and death. Unvaccinated pets are susceptible to both the common diseases in the civilized world as well as diseases common in the wild such as rabies. Vaccines will not only protect your pet from disease, but improve your pet’s overall quality of life.

 

Are there any other reasons to vaccinate my pet?

Here’s three:

  1. Vaccines help you avoid costly treatments for diseases.
  2. Vaccines protect against diseases that can be passed from animal to animal as well as animal to human.
  3. It is common for local or state areas to require that your pet have certain vaccinations.

 

Contact us!

Call to schedule an appointment today at one of our four convenient Toronto locations. Ashbridges Bay Animal Hospital at (416) 915-7387, Beaches Animal Hospital at (416) 690-4040, Bloor Animal Hospital at (416) 767-5817, Downtown Animal Hospital at (416) 966-5122.

Is Your Pet at Risk for Diabetes?

Our pets are out adorable, lovable, loyal companions, but a lot of times we forget that they can have health problems just like us. If your pet has or is at risk for diabetes, it could change a lot about how you care for them from the type of food they eat to how often you can put food out. The best way to avoid running into a sticky health situation is to know the warning signs ahead of time.

 

Risk Factors

Diabetes is surprisingly common in pets but there are certain factors that can contribute to their risk of developing the condition.

 

  • Breed. All dog and cat breeds are not the same, and their health isn’t either. Burmese cats, for example, are more prone to diabetes than any other breed of cat with about one in ten developing it later in their lifetime. When it comes to dogs, there are a number of breeds that are more likely to suffer from diabetes such as German Shepherds, Australian Terriers andPoodles. Other dog breeds that have an increased risk of diabetes are Cairn Terriers, Fox Terriers, Samoyeds, Schnauzers, Bichon Frise, Pugs, Golden Retrievers, and Keeshonden.
  • Age. Dogs are most likely to develop diabetes between the ages of 7 and 9 but there have also been numerous cases of a juvenile version of the disease in puppies. Cats are most likely to suffer from diabetes between 8 and 13.
  • Sex. In cats, males are more likely to become diabetic than females while in dogs, females are twice as likely to develop diabetes than males.
  • Medical Conditions. In both dogs and cats, having Cushing’s Disease increases their risk for diabetes. Cushing’s is when your pet’s body is making too much of the hormone cortisol, resulting in a small pea-sized tumor either at the base of their brain, the pituitary gland, or their adrenal glands above the kidneys. The other medical condition that shows increased risk for diabetes is pancreatitis.
  • Obesity. This is an avoidable risk factor but is one of the most well-known paths to diabetes. Make sure that you are keeping your pet on a regular feeding schedule and be careful to watch their weight. This can be a bigger problem in cats that stay indoors.
  • Medications. Certain medications your pet may need can have a negative impact on their production of insulin such as glucocorticoids and progestagens. If your pet is taking either of these make sure that you watch them carefully to see if there are any changes in their habits that might indicate diabetes.

 

 

Symptoms

The next step to keeping your pet healthy is not just knowing that if they are at an increased risk of diabetes but being able to recognize the symptoms.

  • Hunger. This may not be noticeable through the amount that they are eating if you keep them on a regular schedule but if you notice your pet whining or scratching consistently for more food, it could be a sign that they have diabetes.
  • Weight Loss. Your pet may seem to be hungrier, but if they suddenly lose weight then it may an indication that something else is going on. Diabetes cause and an increase in your pet’s metabolism that explains a sudden weight loss in your pet.
  • Thinning Hair. If you begin to notice your pet’s hair dulling or thinning without an apparent cause you may want to talk to your vet. This can not only be a sign of diabetes but a sign of many other illnesses as well.
  • Increased Urination. Frequent urination whether it be that your pet starts having accidents in the house or starts needing to go outside more is an early warning sign of diabetes.
  • Fatigue. Diabetes can cause your pet’s muscles to wear out more quickly resulting in weakness and exhaustion. If you notice that your pet is unable to get up and spends a lot more time napping than usual, it could be a sign of diabetes.
  • Depression. Depression can be caused be a later sign of diabetes called Ketoacidosis. This is when the breakdown of fats and proteins in the liver result in metabolic acidosis in response to a lack of insulin. This creates an imbalance in your pet’s body that results in depression.
  • Vomiting. This is another side effect of Ketoacidosis. If your pet’s diabetes has gone unnoticed for a long time this is a late sign. The stage of Ketoacidosis is more common in older females as well as in miniature poodles and dachshunds.

 

Contact us!

Call to schedule an appointment today at one of our four convenient Toronto locations. Ashbridges Bay Animal Hospital at (416) 915-7387, Beaches Animal Hospital at (416) 690-4040, Bloor Animal Hospital at (416) 767-5817, Downtown Animal Hospital at (416) 966-5122.

The Pros and Cons of Wet Dog Food vs Dry Dog Food

The decision to choose dry food or wet food is an eternal debate for pet owners. In order to choose wisely, it is important to know the benefits and downsides of each type of food. Something that works well for one dog, may not for another.  

 

Wet Dog Food Pros:

Wet food has a high concentration of moisture that is perfect if your dog doesn’t drink enough water. This makes it practical for older dogs that need more water, as well as for living in a warmer climate. It also contains high amounts of protein and fats that are very healthy for your dog, while the carbohydrate count is much lower. Because it is sealed, it also has no need for synthetic preservatives making it a more natural option.

Wet food has a richer scent and taste to it that is more appealing to a sick or senior dog with affected olfactory senses. It has been seen to help dogs that have dietary problems because of the high moisture content. It’s also a good option for dogs with small mouths or any type of jaw or tooth problem. It will be easier on their mouths and less effort to chew.

 

Wet Dog Food Cons:

To start, wet dog food is more expensive. It does not last as long because wet dog food is not stored or maintained as easily as dry food. Once it has been opened, it must be covered and refrigerated. It also cannot be left in the bowl for longer than a few hours because it is prone to contamination. Because it is more meaty and wet, dogs are much more likely to make a mess near the bowl.

Another downside to wet food is that your dog will require more dental care. You’ll want to pay more attention to their teeth as wet dog food does not clean them the way dry dog food does. Also, due to the high moisture, protein, and fat content, some dogs are more likely to come away with upset stomachs, especially when transitioning off of kibble.

 

Dry Dog Food Pros:

Dry food is cheaper. It can be bought in large containers that will last you a long time. It is much easier to store, with no worries about refrigeration and can be left in the bowl for days without spoiling. Dry food is the most convenient food option. It is easy to measure out and travel with and you can fill the bowl with enough for a day and not have to worry about feeding your dog.

Dry food can also be used to train your dogs. They are good supplements if you don’t want your dog to have too many treats and work just as effectively. Dry food is also a good dental health supplement. They massage your dog’s gums and remove plaque from their teeth. There is even kibble made specially to clean your dog’s teeth, not to mention there is such a wide variety of dry food as well as prescription foods, you are bound to find something perfect for your dog.

 

Dry Dog Food Cons:

Dry food does not provide the moisture that wet food does. Many dogs don’t drink as much water as they should. Since this can be difficult to track, wet food ensures that your dog gets the moisture they need. Wet food is also a good choice for dogs that are older or living in a warmer climate because both require more water. For dogs with dental problems, chewing on the dry food can be painful and make toothaches worse

Dry food also has lower levels of animal-based protein and fat, but are higher in carbohydrates. All dogs need protein and the more active your dog, the more fat they need. Dry food may not provide enough, so mixing a diet of dry food and wet food is often the best plan for those dogs.

Contact us! 

Call to schedule an appointment today at one of our four convenient Toronto locations. Ashbridges Bay Animal Hospital at (416) 915-7387, Beaches Animal Hospital at (416) 690-4040, Bloor Animal Hospital at (416) 767-5817, Downtown Animal Hospital at (416) 966-5122.

 

Cat Shredding Furniture? Here’s How to Stop It!

People don’t buy their furniture to have it ripped to shreds by persistent cat claws. Unfortunately, cat’s don’t give people much choice in the matter. So why do they do it? More importantly, how can it be prevented?

 

Why Do Cats Scratch?

Cat’s, like dogs, are territorial creatures. That’s true for outdoor cats as well as indoor cats. They know what’s theirs and they want everyone else to know it too. As such, it is a cat’s natural instinct to claw at the visible portions of a home, such as the furniture, to mark it as theirs. The visible claw marks on the fabric show that it belongs to them.

In addition, cat’s paws contain scent glands that release their smell onto the furniture when scratched. This lets other animals know what is the cat’s territory and that they should stay out.

Aside from obeying natural instincts, cats scratch things as a form of exercise. A house cat can stretch out their body and work their muscles as their claws drag down the pretty plush couch. And, of course, it’s enjoyable for them. It’s what they do, it’s how they have fun. While people can’t stop their cats from scratching in general, there are still ways to protect furniture without inhibiting a cat’s nature.

 

Sprays

What’s the best way to make anyone stay away from something? Make them not want to be there. Herbal sprays are a great harmless way to prevent the destruction of furniture. The scent of a “no scratch” spray will not only block out a cat’s territorial smell, but it will also be so unpleasant that they don’t want to be there anyway. The scent is undetectable to people, but the spray certainly make an impression on the cat.

 

Tapes

Putting a clear sticky tape over a cat’s most frequently target chair corner is another subtle but effective way to stop a cat from scratching. Cat’s sensitive paws absolutely hate any sticky surface and they will notice with even a slight touch. After a few times of lightly sticking to that corner, a cat won’t want to go back.

 

Cat Furniture

Some people try to relocate their scratching to a place that can be shredded without ruining the appearance of the household? A cedar post or a sisal carpet cat tree in the home will do the trick.
The object needs to be long enough for the cat to stretch out their whole body and sturdy enough that it won’t fall over. Pet owners should avoid buying what looks to be the most durable because cats don’t want this post to stay together. They want to tear it to shreds and they want to be able to look upon their work in the weeks to come.

A spray of catnip will make it more appealing to the cat and they’ll likely jump at this new toy for them to destroy.

 

Interrupt

A loud, distracting sound executive when a cat is caught with its claws in something soft and valuable will help teach the cat not to do it again. People can  shake a can of pennies or clap loudly, but they need to avoid losing their temper, as this can lead some people to shout or strike their cat in some way.

Cats need to learn what not to claw; but pet owners don’t want their cat to dread being in their presence. Cats need to be caught in the act, and if you don’t and try shaking pennies at them a few hours later, the cat won’t know what they did wrong.

 

Trimming Cat’s Claws

If there’s a reasonable chance the cat may relapse and return to the luxury of the living room for their scratching fun, regularly trimming the cat’s claws can help. By disarming them, there is little damage they can do, but this should only be done after other methods are exhausted.. The shorter their claws, the less drastic the destruction will be.

 

Help from the Pros

If you still need help, reach out to a Toronto veterinarian at our website or you can reach the Ashbridges Bay Animal Hospital at (416) 915-7387, Downtown Animal Hospital at (416) 966-5122.

Don’t let your cat go stir crazy this winter

Regardless of how often your cat goes outside, your cat will need to spend a lot of time indoors this winter. Even if they are an indoor cat, the cold conditions can cause them trouble indoors that they won’t encounter in warmer weather.

First and foremost, do everything you can to make sure your home is warm enough for cat comfort. If your heating system doesn’t reach every room, try giving them a tented cat bed to retreat to for warmth. Any cat bed will lend them extra heat, and if you don’t have one on hand you can always line a cardboard box with a warm towel from the dryer. Make sure the walls are cut down enough that your cat can enter it freely.

If you want to give your cat a real treat, let them use a warming pad to set to a low temperature. Don’t swaddle them down with a towel or restrict their movement in any way in case they get too warm, and only use the warming pad when you can keep an eye on them.

If your cat has a rivalry with any other pets, be aware that heating issues may force them into the same rooms with each other. You may need to play peacemaker, keep them separated or find ways to keep distant rooms warm enough so all your pets can stay comfortable.

If your cat loses its normal daytime outdoor adventures because of snow and ice, make sure you devote some special playtime to keep your cat entertained. The old fluffy mouse on a string, laser pointer or rolling toys are easy ways to keep your cats active with minimal effort on your part.

Keep any curtains and blinds open during the day to allow warm sunbeams to splash across the floor for your pets to bask in. It’s free and they’ll appreciate the effort.

Make sure you keep indoor humidity under control. The dry winter air and heating systems can make the air in your home unbearably dry. Besides the physical discomfort your pets may feel, the dry air can increase static electricity. No cat likes being patted only to receive a big shock when they touch you with their nose.

Finally, if you do have an outdoor cat, consider using a leash and a harness to take your cat for a walk. Yes, they will look silly and some cats would rather be dragged than walked, but if your kitty is cooped up all winter it just might be enough to help them unwind for a few minutes and regain some sanity.

How to keep cats and dogs from fighting in your home

 

Cat And Dog getting along

 

When we share our house with animals we have to remember that they will always be animals. No matter how many generations of their ancestors have been house pets before them, no matter how cute and fluffy they may be, our cats and dogs will still be animals with instincts and other urges that can make it hard for them to get along with each other.

In all cases, the way cats and dogs behave towards one another depends largely on how they were first introduced.

Give your new pet some solo time to get used to the sounds, sights and smells of your home before meeting any new pet siblings. Keep the established cat or dog in a separate part of the house and give the new pet time to adjust before it has to be social.

If you have baby gates available please deploy them. Unlike putting the pet in a carrier or behind a door, it will let your cat or dog explore a section of the house without feeling shut in.

When you want the pets to meet for the first time, don’t hold your cat up like it’s Simba in the Lion King on Pride Rock, forcing them to be nose to nose. That’s going to make the cat uncomfortable, and possibly claw-happy, which will ensure a bad first impression on your dog.

Instead, let the pets meet each other at their own pace. Get them into the same room, but don’t push them together. When cats and dogs don’t get along it’s usually because the dog acts aggressively towards the cat, so make sure your dog is leashed and the cat has somewhere to run to.

Dogs naturally want to chase things that scurry, but you need to help them break this behavior. Don’t tolerate any chasing or fighting. It’s best to keep a squirt gun handy to break up any brawls so they don’t grow into rivalries.

Keep in mind that personality clashes extend beyond species. If your cat is playful and your dog is not, you will have a tougher time on your hands then if both pets have the same disposition. Expect it to take two or three weeks before your pets get used to one another, and if you are still having trouble don’t wait for one of your pets to get hurt before you seek outside help from a trainer or veterinarian.

Keepings pets cool in the summer

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The sticky days of summer are here, and humans aren’t the only ones who have to worry about heat stroke. Pets depend on us for help when they need to cool down, but unfortunately they are limited in how they can communicate to their owners when they get too hot.

Some common warning signs to look out for in dogs include panting and salivating excessively, lying down on cool or shaded surfaces, skin that feels especially warm to the touch, anxious behavior, stumbling and even vomiting.

While it’s tempting to use ice or very cold water to cool your pet down fast, this can constrict their blood vessels and make it harder for their bodies to shed heat. Instead, try spraying them with cool water from a hose or placing them in a tub. If you’re going use a fan make sure they are wet first.

If you’re in the Toronto area, please give us a call and tell us about your pet’s symptoms right away so we can determine how serious the heat problem is. If conditions are severe they will need to come in for advanced treatment.

To avoid heat problems, never, ever leave your dog in a car on a hot day, even for a minute. Vehicles warm up much faster than most people realize, even if the temperatures seem mild and the vehicle is in the shade. Don’t risk it.

If your pet is kept outside, make sure they have a cool, shaded place to retreat to. Try putting out a second water dish, with ice water inside, in case the first one is emptied or knocked over. If you have a kiddie pool handy, fill it up and put it in the shade for your pets to use.

Don’t walk your dog during the middle of the day. Keep exercise light and time those walks to the morning or evening.

Heat stroke is a serious matter. If dogs reach a temperature of 43 degrees they can suffer internal organ failure, brain damage or death. Pets depend on you for their health and safety, so keep that responsibility in mind as the temperatures soar.

4 tips to safeguard your pet on moving day

It's moving day, but are you prepared? Do you have pet photos and your new downtown Toronto veterinarian clinic address print?Moving day can be a whirlwind of activity in your home. To help your pet deal with the stress of the event, here are a few tips to keep your pet safe and limit the stress your pet may feel as your new home is dismantled on moving day.

  1. It is important to keep as normal a routine as possible. A few weeks before the move, make small changes every day. Changing your pets routine in small ways. One day moving the food dish to a new location. Maybe the next day, taking a walk at a different time or walking a different route. These small changes will make the pet aware that something is different but they will eventually accept the changes with a minimum of fuss.
  2. On moving day, place your pet in the bathroom with a ‘Do not Enter’ sign.   This will notify the moving company that they are not to enter the room and possibly disturb your pet. There will be a lot of confusion on moving day and you want to make sure that your pet is safe and secure.
  3. Have a neighbor, friend or relative take responsibility for your pet on moving day to ensure that your pet does not escape in the confusion or is left behind in the aftermath of packing.
  4. On moving day, keep photos of your pet on hand in case your pet gets away during the confusion of packing. Pictures are great for identifying lost pets.

Moving day can elicit a lot of emotions from people and pets alike. Keep your move positive and stress free by creating a safe haven for your pet, like the bathroom, while strangers dismantle your home for your new adventure.

 

This is a three-part series.

Part 1

Part 3

3 tips to alleviate pet stress when preparing to move

Are you moving with your cat or dog towards a new Toronto vetinarian hospital? Advice from the animal experts on how to keep your furball friends from getting stressed out.Owners may be surprised to find their pet acting out when preparing to move. Like humans, pets thrive on routine.   Like humans, change is scary and unpredictable. With some advanced planning, patience and affection any move can be successful and stress free.

  1. A few weeks before the move, purchase a carrier for your pet that is large enough for your pet to lay down in comfort. Make sure there is enough room for water and food dishes.
  2. After purchase, let your pet get familiar with the carrier. Encouraging your pet to sleep and eat in the carrier or crate will provide your pet with a personal portable shelter.
  3. Be sure to clip your pet nails prior to introducing them to their carrier and crate. This will protect them against hooking their nails on the carrier door, holes and other crevices.

Hopefully the carrier will become a haven for your pet, a home away from home. This will sooth your pet and ensures a safe and stress free trip to your new home.

 

This is a three-part series.

Part 2

Part 3

February is Spay and Neuter Awareness Month

If you haven’t spayed or neutered your pet, here’s what you need to know:

Spaying or neutering your pet eliminates unwanted pregnancies and provides many health benefits. In females, spaying avoids the probability of a serious and potentially fatal uterine infection in later years, it also reduces the chance of mammary cancer. In males, neutering reduces the chance of cancer of the testicles and prostate, and lessens the chance of injury due to fighting or misadventure by roaming. We recommend spaying or neutering your new dog, cat or other animal at 5 months.

Your pet’s health

Medical evidence indicates that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. (Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age.)

Male pets who are neutered eliminate their chances of getting testicular cancer, and it is thought they they have lowered rates of prostate cancer, as well.

Getting your pets spayed/neutered will not change their fundamental personality, like their protective instinct.

Curbing bad behavior

Unneutered dogs are much more assertive and prone to urine-marking (lifting his leg) than neutered dogs. Although it is most often associated with male dogs, females may do it, too. Spaying or neutering your dog should reduce urine-marking and may stop it altogether.

For cats, the urge to spray is extremely strong in an intact cat, and the simplest solution is to get yours neutered or spayed by 4 months of age before there’s even a problem. Neutering solves 90 percent of all marking issues, even in cats that have been doing it for a while. It can also minimize howling, the urge to roam, and fighitng with other males.

In both cats and dogs, the longer you wait, the greater the risk you run of the surgery not doing the trick because the behavior is so ingrained.

Cost cutting

Caring for a pet with reproductive system cancer or pyometra can easily run into the thousands of dollars—five to ten times as much as a routine spay surgery. Additionally, unaltered pets can be more destructive or high-strung around other dogs. Serious fighting is more common between unaltered pets of the same gender and can incur high veterinary costs.

Renewing your pet’s license can be more expensive, too. Many counties have spay/neuter laws that require pets to be sterilized, or require people with unaltered pets to pay higher license renewal fees.

Spaying and neutering are good for rabbits, too

Part of being conscientious about the pet overpopulation problem is to spay or neuter your pet rabbits, too. Rabbits reproduce faster than dogs or cats and often end up in shelters, where they must be euthanized. Neutering male rabbits can reduce hormone-driven behavior such as lunging, mounting, spraying, and boxing.

And just as with dogs and cats, spayed female rabbits are less likely to get ovarian, mammary, and uterine cancers, which can be prevalent in mature females.

Millions of pet deaths each year are a needless tragedy. By spaying and neutering your pet, you can be an important part of the solution. Contact your veterinarian today and be sure to let your family and friends know that they should do the same.

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