Commonly Asked Questions about Pet Ownership

Q. What is the real cost of pet ownership?

A. Often times, people are enamored with the idea of having a cute animal, but are unaware of the costs that are associated with taking care of a pet and being a responsible pet owner. From basics to logistics, the costs can add up quickly. The following guide not only identifies common expenses, but provides helpful cost management strategies including a calculator to help estimate pet ownership costs. The hope is that more people will make smarter, well informed decisions when buying a pet so every animal can receive the love and care it deserves. View the Pet Cost Calculator: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/pet-cost-calculator/

Q. My cat keeps peeing all over my home! What can I do?

A. The following Guide to Cat Behavior Counseling will help you to understand the underlying principles of why cats behave the way they do, and will help to to assess and resolve specific cat behavior issues: http://www.animalsheltering.org/sites/default/files/content/guide-to-cat-behavior-counseling.pdf

Q. Is spay or neuter surgery painful? Can it harm my dog or cat?

A. During a spay or neuter surgery, dogs and cats are fully anesthetized, so they feel no pain. Afterwards, most animals seem to experience some discomfort, but signs of discomfort disappear within a few days, and with pain management medication, pain may not be experienced at all. Serious harm as a result of spay or neuter surgery is extremely rare.

Q. Is spay or neuter surgery expensive?

A. Spay or neuter surgery generally costs less than most major surgeries, especially if the dog or cat is young and healthy. Also, many communities have subsidized spay and neuter clinics or programs in which local veterinarians perform spaying and neutering surgery at reduced cost or for free. Click here for information on the local reduced-cost options.

Q. Shouldn’t a female dog or cat have one litter, or at least one heat cycle, before being spayed?

A. To the contrary, a dog or cat has the best chance of good health if spayed before her first heat. Early spaying reduces the risk of mammary tumors and prevents other health problems, such as life-threatening uterine infections, before aging brings greater susceptibility.

Q. Can a pregnant dog or cat be safely spayed?

A. Many dogs and cats are spayed while pregnant to prevent the birth of puppies or kittens. A veterinarian, however, must consider the pregnant dog or cat, as well as the stage of her pregnancy, before deciding whether she can be safely spayed.

Q. Don’t spayed or neutered dogs and cats become overweight?

A. In some dogs and cats, metabolism does decrease following spaying or neutering. Nevertheless, if fed only the appropriate amount of food and if adequately exercised, spayed or neutered dogs and cats are unlikely to become overweight.

Q. Does spaying or neutering make dogs and cats less affectionate?

A. Freed from the urge to mate, dogs and cats tend to be calmer and more content after spaying or neutering. Spayed or neutered dogs and cats are more, not less, likely to show affection toward their human companions.

Q. At what age should my dog or cat be spayed or neutered?

A. Because early spaying or neutering is optimal, dogs and cats usually have the surgery at about 6 months of age; with advanced techniques and safer anesthetic drugs, a growing number of animals are being spayed or neutered at 2 to 6 months of age. Even dogs and cats who are years older, however, benefit from being spayed or neutered.