Myth: A female dog or cat should have a litter before being spayed so her mothering instincts will not become frustrated.
Fact: Animals do not regard breeding or parenting in the same way as humans do. Neutering a dog or cat can be done as young as four months of age. In females, dog and cat neutering helps prevent mammary tumors, while in male animals neutering prevents testicular cancer, spraying (cats), or marking territory (dogs). Neutered animals are also less likely to roam and stray.
Myth: A dog will become fat and lazy after neutering.
Fact: Overeating (or overfeeding) and lack of exercise cause weight gain in animals, just as in humans. However, removal of an animal's reproductive organs does not cause weight gain.
Myth: A male dog that is not intact will not be happy.
Fact: Animal reproduction has not been shown to be based on anything more than perpetuation of the species. The idea that a neutered male dog is not happy or masculine usually reflects the feelings of the owner, not the dog.
Myth: If we neuter all dogs and cats, eventually they will all be gone.
Fact: It is highly unlikely that we would ever be able to neuter all dogs and cats. We also are not likely to run out of them any time soon. Random breeding of dogs and cats does not assure quality animals, good health, or good dispositions. Overpopulation results when there are more animals than there are responsible pet owners, and overpopulation is never good for the animals that are not lucky enough to have a good home.