Every year, Animal Welfare League (AWL) receives more than 6,000 animals and more than 50% of these animals are a result of unplanned pregnancies.
Cats can start breeding as early as four months of age. Dogs reach sexual maturity around seven to 12 months of age, although this can vary depending on the breed. Desexing your pets will not only prevent these unwanted pregnancies but there are also many health and behavioural benefits to getting your pet desexed.
As always, it’s a good idea to chat with your vet before going ahead with any procedure. This is because the recommended age for desexing can be different depending on the species and the breed of your pet.
Desexing your pet is the law in South Australia
Desexing is compulsory in South Australia for all dogs and cats born after 1 July 2018. Cats and dogs have to be desexed by the age of 6 months, or within 28 days of when you take possession of a new animal. It does not apply to dogs and cats born before 1 July 2018 and exemptions are available for working dogs and animals belonging to breeders registered with the Dog and Cat Management Board.
As we mentioned earlier, be sure to chat with your vet to determine the right course of action for your pet.
Desexing your pet can be beneficial for its health
According to Dr Julie Bellamy BVMS, CEO at Animal Welfare League (AWL), there are many health and behavioral benefits to desexing your pet.
“Desexing your pets obviously eliminates the risk of testicular cancer in males and diseases of the ovaries and uterus in females,” Dr Bellamy said.
“It can also reduce the likelihood of female pets developing mammary tumours and male pets suffering from diseases of the prostate.
Dr Bellamy also said that undesexed cats and dogs are more likely to roam.
Desexing your pet can prevent problematic behavior
Animals that aren’t desexed can exhibit certain behaviours that can cause problems down the track.
According to Dr Bellamy, undesexed pets that are allowed to roam may get into fights with other animals, putting them at risk not only of physical injuries but also contracting infectious diseases, such Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in cats.
“On top of that, desexing your pets will stop calling behaviour in females and reduce spraying in males, which often causes problems in the neighbourhood,” she said.
Whether your cats is desexed or not, we recommend keeping them indoors to keep them safe. Check out our blog to find out how you can successfully transition your cat from being an outdoor one to an indoor one.
Desexing your pet will help control the number of strays in the community
According to Dr Bellamy, more desexed animals in the community means less abandoned or unwanted animals in animal shelters like Animal Welfare League.
“Desexing your pet will help control the stray animal population in the community – it’s currently the only effective and permanent method of preventing breeding,” she said.
As you can see, desexing your pet is an important part of being a responsible pet owner. Take the Pledge to desex your pet today.