Spaying and neutering dogs and cats is the most effective way to control the overpopulation of these animals. The simple surgeries prevent millions of animals from being put to sleep each year. Increasingly, private veterinary practitioners as well as shelter veterinarians are implementing early spaying and neutering of dogs and cats to further control the problem of animal overpopulation.
Early spaying and neutering is typically performed between six and fourteen weeks of age, though the age at which these procedures are performed varies according to individual practices and veterinarians. Contrary to previous thought, studies indicate early spaying and neutering has no adverse effect on the animal's health and development. Modified surgical and anesthetic techniques are used to address the animal's smaller size and physical state of development. The surgery takes less time, the recovery is quicker, and the animals appear to experience less post-operative pain.