Sterilising Your Pet

Courtesy of Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore. For more information, visit Surgical sterilisation of pets is important to prevented unwanted litters. Often, pet owners find themselves in a situation when they so not know what to do with their pet's newborn litter. Attempts to find homes for their pets' offspring are usually in vain. Many baby animals end up being abandoned when owners cannot cope with them. As a responsible pet owner, you should never allow pet abandonment to happen. The best way to prevent this is to sterilise your pets. What Is Sterilisation? It is a surgical procedure in which a part of the reproductive organ of an animal is removed to permanently stop it from reproducing. The testicles are removed in the male; the ovaries and uterus in the female. The procedure is done by a licensed veterinarian under strict sterile conditions and with the animal under general anaesthesia. Sterilisation is done mostly on male and female dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. Why Sterilise? Sterilised pets are less aggressive and more affectionate. Sterilisation is also beneficial to pets as they become less prone to certain diseases. Sterilisation can help to:
  • Prevent unwanted litters
  • Modify the pet's behaviour so that it is easier to manage
  • Prevent womb infections and reduce mammary cancers in female animals
When To Sterilise? Most veterinarians recommend that sterilisation be done when your pet has passed 6 months of age. Will sterilisation cause a change in my pet? Sterilisation can reduce your pet's level of activity, thus making it more homely and easier to manage. The food intake should be reduced to prevent obesity. In very few cases, an older sterilized pet may lose some control of its bladder or have thinning of its body coat. These are not serious conditions and can be easily resolved with medication, if necessary. Sterilisation Facts & Myths Myth: The surgery is painful and dangerous for my pet. Fact: Sterilisation is the most common and routine surgery performed on animals. There are minimal risks if the pet is sterilised by a licensed veterinarian. The pet will not feel any pain as the procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. Most pets recover quickly and are back to normal after 24-48 hours. Myth: My pet will become fat and lazy after sterilisation. Fact: Lack of exercise and overfeeding cause the pet to be fat and lazy, not sterilisation. Exercise your pet regularly and monitor its food intake to prevent excessive weight gain. Myth: Sterilisation is unnecessary. After all, I can easily find new homes for my pet's offspring. Fact: Many pets are put down each year because there are not enough homes for them. There is no guarantee that suitable homes can be found for your pet's offspring. Do not add on to the number of homeless animals. Myth: Sterilising my pet is too costly and not worth the while. Fact: Sterilisation is a once-off procedure that will last the pet's lifetime. The cost of sterilisation is also small compared to the cost of raising a litter of the pet's offspring. Sterilisation can also be considered an investment as sterilised pets are less susceptible to certain illnesses.