My pet will be better adjusted if I let her have one litter before she is spayed.
Having a litter doesn't make your pet more well adjusted. Proper training and upbringing does that. Spaying and neutering pets before they are bred, and especially females before they have their first heat cycle, greatly reduces the risks of some cancers and helps your pet to live a longer, healthier life. Four to six million dogs and cats are euthanized every year in the United States, and most of those where products of "just one litter".
My pet will become fat and lazy after they are altered.
The greatest factor in pets becoming fat and lazy is overfeeding and under-activity. A sensible diet with little or no "people food" or "table scraps" and a reasonable amount of exercise are the surest ways to keep your pets slim, trim and healthy. And if you MUST give your pets treats and tidbits, try a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Keep experimenting until you find something that your pet likes, its a healthy snack and good for them too.
It is too expensive to fix my pet.
Spay Oklahoma offers affordable spay and neuters. Cats are only $30, Dogs are $40. Compare this one time cost of a spay or neuter operation to the mounting costs of frequent veterinary trips because of bite wounds from fighting, injuries from roaming, and sometimes even the cost of birthing the puppies or kittens and shots and food for them before homes can be found. The costs adds up in a hurry.
I have a male dog, I don't need to get him fixed because he can't have puppies.
It takes both male and female animals to produce a litter, and truthfully, it is just as important to neuter males, since they can father litters every day of the year, and sometimes father many litters per day. While females only are fertile about twice a year. Males can roam and father many litters if left unaltered. Male pets will smell females in heat and many have been known to escape their homes to reach the female. Your pet could get lost or injured in his quest to find the female in heat.
I want to breed my pet, because I want another just like him/her.
A dog or cat may be a great pet, but that doesn't mean her offspring will be a carbon copy. Professional animal breeders who follow generations of bloodlines can't guarantee they will get just what they want out of a particular litter. A pet owner's chances are even slimmer. In fact, an entire litter of puppies or kittens might receive all of a pet's (and her mate's) worst characteristics.
My children should experience the miracle of birth.
With all the cable television shows on TV today, somewhere, sometime you can find a show about a lion, tiger, hippo or something giving birth. But its not real you say? Fine. Contact your breeder, or your veterinarian and ask if they are expecting any litters anytime soon, and arrange to have it video taped or to attend it in person. And while you are educating about life, take time to take a trip to your local shelter and educate your children about the death of millions of unwanted pets as well. Where there is life, there is death, and its certainly a fact that we all have to deal with.
If my pet has puppies/kittens, I will be able to give them to family or friends, or at local flea markets or stores.
Do you want to take the time to sit in front of a store and ask people if they want a free pet? What happens if you can't give them all away? What will you do then? If you give them away to strangers, are you sure they are going to a good home? Will they spay/neuter the pet? Will they give proper shelter, care and love? Did you know that many puppies and kittens that are given away for free end up being used as bait for dog fights, or sold to pharmaceutical companies to be used as test animals? Even if you do find them all homes, but each home you find means one less home for the dogs and cats in shelters who need good homes.
My dog is a purebred, so I can make money by selling puppies.
One in every four dogs in a shelter is a purebred. People buy purebred dogs without doing the proper research on the breed, or because the breed is "cute" or is made popular by a current movie or TV show. Breeding dogs and cats is rarely a money making experience. There are the veterinary bills, shots, food, and advertising costs. There is also the time spent caring for the puppies and kittens and showing them to prospective owners. Don't forget the temptation to keep "just one" that often happens with the first litter. What if the pregnancy puts the mother in medical danger that causes her to suffer or even die -- can you put a price on the loss of a pet? Also, for every heat cycle a female goes through, her odds of having medical problems later multiplies by ten. By the time the puppies or kittens are sold, has a significant amount of money really been made?
But my pet is a purebred, and he/she has papers that means they are breeding quality, right?
This quote was taken from the AKC website :"There is a widely held belief that "AKC" or "AKC papers" and quality are one and the same. This is not the case. AKC is a registry body. A registration certificate identifies the dog as the offspring of a known sire and dam, born on a known date. It in no way indicates the quality or state of health of the dog. Quality in the sense of "show quality" is determined by many factors including the dog's health, physical condition, ability to move and appearance. Breeders breeding show stock are trying to produce animals that closely resemble the description of perfection described in the breed standard. Many people breed their dogs with no concern for the qualitative demands of the breed standard. When this occurs repeatedly over several generations, the animals, while still pure-bred, can be of extremely low quality."
That means that just because you have papers on your dog, doesn't mean that it is of breeding quality. If your dog is proven in the show ring and in the field, and free of any genetic or inherited defects, then and only then is that dog of sound breeding quality. Also keep in mind, that 25% of animals that are turned into shelters each year and euthanized are PUREBRED ANIMALS.
I want my dog to be protective.
Spaying or neutering does not affect a dog's natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog's personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones. Most pets will be more reliable and responsible after neutering and are often easier to train because of stabilized hormones. What makes a male dog a good guard dog is training, not hormones.