Teaching pets about the birds and bees - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Teaching pets about the birds and bees

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - Petland of Iowa City is promoting spaying and neutering by reminding people to be responsible owners.

Many people feel that it is a pet's right to have babies at least once in its life or that a child can learn about the miracle of life from watching a pet give birth. The problem is that just one little kitten or puppy can go on to produce thousands of litters, ultimately adding to the homeless pet population.

Petland says that pet owners need to be responsible and have their pets spayed or neutered - a surgical procedure that can enhance a pet's health and quality of life.

Pet counselors at Petland work every day to educate customers on the benefits of having their pets surgically sterilized.

"Pet owners who allow their pets to breed irresponsibly are essentially contributing to the births of thousands and thousands of puppies and kittens each day," said Ronald Solsrud, Operator, Petland of Iowa City. "At Petland, we strongly encourage everyone who adopts a pet from our stores to have it spayed or neutered. It's simply the responsible thing - and the right thing - to do."

It is estimated that a fertile cat can produce up to three litters per year with an average number of four to six kittens in each litter. A fertile dog is estimated to be able to produce up to two litters per year with an average of six to 10 puppies in each. Because these numbers add up to alarming totals, it is crucial that pet owners take the initiative to get their pet spayed or neutered, preventing unwanted litters of puppies or kittens, and reducing the number of pets that end up homeless or euthanized at local animal shelters.

Dispelling old wive's tales about spaying and neutering

  • Spaying and neutering does not cause a pet to gain weight. In fact, it can slow a pet's metabolism, and therefore a pet may not need as much food.
  • Spaying is not easier, but rather more difficult after a female pet has been allowed to come into heat or to have its first litter. Also, pet owners should keep in mind that surgery is less stressful to younger pets.
  • Spaying and neutering will not change a pet's personality. Some innate aggressive behaviors - readiness to bite, fight or defend territory - will be reduced if a male pet is altered before his testicles begin producing testosterone, a hormone related to aggressive behavior.
  • Spaying and neutering generally are not dangerous surgical procedures. A physical examination of a pet before surgery is routine in most veterinary clinics. As with any surgical procedure, complications can arise, but they are fairly uncommon today.


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