Spaying and neutering not only prevent unwanted litters and may reduce many behavioral problems associated with the mating instinct (e.g, marking territory, humping, roaming), but also reduce or eliminate the risk of conditions such as testicular cancer, prostatic hyperplasia, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and uterine infection. Reducing roaming may lower the risks of your dog being hit by a car, fighting, or biting people or other dogs.
Spaying and neutering are major surgical procedures and are the most common surgeries performed by veterinarians on cats and dogs. Your pet is given a thorough physical examination to ensure that it is in good health prior to the procedure. General anesthesia is administered during the surgery and efforts, including provision of pain-relieving medications, are usually made to minimize pain. You will need to keep your pet calm and quiet for a few days after surgery as the incision heals.
Like any surgical procedure, sterilization is associated with some anesthetic and surgical risk, but the overall incidence of complications is very low. Because changes in concentrations of reproductive hormones may affect your pet's risk of developing certain diseases and conditions in the future, your veterinarian will advise you on both the benefits and risks of the sterilization procedure.
Consult with your veterinarian about the most appropriate time to spay or neuter your pet based upon its breed, age and physical condition.
**Adapted from AVMA.com