Post-Neutering Misconceptions

It is a common misperception that spayed or neutered animals will automatically gain weight, become terribly lazy, stop marking their territory, and a host of other personality changes thought to be caused by various hormonal processes.

The amounts of testosterone and estrogen in your pet will change as the primary sources of these hormones have been removed. Those are not, however, the only hormones present in the body.

Like people, pets gain weight from eating too much and not getting enough exercise to burn off the calories. Without the breeding urge, an animal will often turn to kitten or puppy behavior. This is excellent for their exercise regimen.

Also like people, they may become bored. If a pet does not receive proper stimulation, such as daily play or other exercise, it will become more habitually inactive and eventually put on weight.

Marking territory is prevalent among male dogs and cats, and is also seen in females of both species. “Spraying” is often considered an undesirable trait in cats. The Spay/neuter process will not necessarily erase it. Some cats will stop, others may start. In dogs, the marking of territory is more instinct driven than hormone. Leaving scent at various ‘signposts’ is like a ‘living newsletter’ for dogs to get caught up on who is in the area and how they are doing.

Make sure that your pet is fed a balanced and healthy diet, and receives adequate play time and exercise. Spending quality time with them is a good investment in their future health.

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