However, many pet owners who choose to get their pet spayed or neutered do not realize an added bonus, which is a potential increase in the lifespan of their beloved furry family member.
Research published in 2013 in the online journal PLoS ONE found that sterilized dogs lived an average of 9.4 years, versus unaltered dogs, who lived on average 7.9 years.
The study found that sterilized dogs were more likely to die from cancer or autoimmune diseases. Potential explanations of this finding involve the kinds of cancer that commonly occurs in altered dogs, for example female dogs sterilized before sexual maturity are less likely to develop mammary cancer due to a decrease in estrogen exposure in the body. An explanation for the increase in cancer outside of the reproductive tract is that dogs sterilized before puberty grow taller, and growth is considered a risk factor for various cancers. Unaltered dogs may be more prone to disease due to the fact that progesterone and testosterone, both present in unaltered dogs, can be immunosuppressive.
A report by Banfield Pet Hospital revealed that neutered male cats live 62 longer than unneutered cats, on average. Spayed females live, on average, 39 percent longer than unspayed cats. The trend was similar, with neutered males living 18 percent longer and females 23 percent longer.
Although there are many benefits to getting your young pet altered, including prevention of unwanted litters as well as a longer lifespan, there may also be potential drawbacks, such as a negative effect on growth since it will not be regulated. There are some solutions to these problems offered up, however. One such solution is to give male animals vasectomies, so that the hormones are still being produced to do their job without the risk of an unwanted litter of puppies or kittens.
You may be reading this article because you wanted to get more information about altering your pets. If you are ready to control the pet population all while giving your pet the gift of a longer lifespan, be sure to click this link for assistant finding a spay and neuter clinic in Scotts Valley.