Spaying and neutering more than just population control

You hear it all the time - have your pets spayed or neutered. It is the best way to control overpopulation, but there are other reasons to have your dog or cat fixed.

"Spaying and neutering allows you to have better pets and have those pets for a longer period of time," says Dr. Brad Crauer, medical director at the Seattle Humane Society

Crauer says there are major health benefits for both male and female pets.

"Removing those testicles early decreased the chance that they're going to get testicular cancer and it decreases the stimulation in the prostate. So it also minimizes the problem there. On females it's very significant if we spay them before six months it minimizes the chance of mammary gland cancer by about 95 to 98 percent."

Crauer says the surgery can also improve behavior -- especially with dogs.

"It decreases the chance of aggressive behavior, of roaming, of mounting, a lot of these things that are just not attractive in male dogs."

Tuesday is World Spay Day. A lot of the shelters in the area are celebrating with special spay/neuter programs.

For more information

Spay Day: Seattle Humane Society

VetStreet.com: Spaying or Neutering Your Pet