Having your pet desexed is part of being a responsible pet owner. Cats and dogs can produce offspring from an early age. They cany have many litters of kittens or puppies during their lives.
Desexing your pet can have positive health and behavioural advantages.
Your pet may roam far from home to find another animal to mate with. Pets that are not desexed may jump fences and travel considerable distances to find the source of the scent that attracts them. Dogs have been known to mate through mesh fencing.
Desexing prevents unplanned pregnancies in female pets. It removes the need to predict when your pet will come on heat or try to escape your property in search of a female on heat.
Animals not desexed are known as being entire animals. Keeping your pet entire can be costly. An entire female dog needs to be kept confined in a secure room or pen with a roof to prevent entire dogs from mating with her.
The same applies to female cats who also go to great lengths to mate when on heat.
Both cats and dogs can have large litters that need to be looked after for six to seven weeks before they given away or sold. They also need to be vaccinated and weaned onto solid food during this time.
Allowing your pet to have a litter should not be undertaken lightly. Pregnancy can increase the risk of reproductive cancers and complications can arise during birth. Consult with your vet before your animal mates and throughout their pregnancy.
If your pet does have a litter, you are responsible for the offspring until you’ve found new owners for them. Puppies and kittens must not be dumped or left to fend for themselves.
Dumping puppies and kittens carries a penalty of up to $1000. As well as being inhumane, dumping animals adds to stray and feral populations.
If you are unable to find caring homes for unwanted puppies or kittens, surrender them to the RSPCA.
Desexing can have positive health and behavioural advantages.
A desexed pet may:
- Live longer and be less likely to develop reproductive related cancers
- Be less prone to wander. Desexed animals are far less inclined to go in search of a mate. Your pet should e confined at all times but if it does go wandering from your property, it could get lost or injured
- Not mark its territory by 'spraying' in the house
- Be less likely to develop aggressive tendencies
- No longer be sexually frustrated by pursuing another dog or cat on heat but not being able to reach them.
Other advantages of desexing
- Reduced registration fee – create link to next heading section
- You won’t have to house female pets on heat to protect them from males attracted by the scent
- Reducing the population of stray or unwanted cats reduces the damage they can do to native flora and fauna
- You won’t have to find homes for unwanted or unexpected litters.
We offer reduced registration fees for dogs and cats that have been desexed.
Desexing Vouchers - Australian Veterinary Association (Victorian Division) and the Municipal Association of Victoria cat and dog reduced fee desexing voucher scheme
We provide vouchers for pensioners to have their pets desexed at a reduced fee with participating local vets (please contact your local vet to see if they will accept a voucher).
As veterinary practices differ in techniques and therefore pricing in regard to desexing of an animal, these arrangements allow the owner to pay the difference in cost after a discount of 25 per cent of the advertised desexing price of the veterinary practice and the council contribution have both been subtracted.
Pet owners who hold one of the following concession cards (issued by Centrelink) are eligible:
- Pensioner concession card
- Health care card
- Low income health care card
- Commonwealth seniors health card
Desexing vouchers can be obtained from ASSIST counters at all of our town halls.
Pets of any age can be desexed, even as young as eight weeks. However, the Australian Veterinary Association recommends desexing your pet before it is three months old.
Desexing is a straightforward procedure that causes minimal discomfort to your pet. Most pets fully recover in 24 hours. Your vet can answer any questions about the procedure and advise you about caring for your pet after the operation. Most cats and dogs bounce back very quickly.
Some common myths
- A desexed pet will become overweight.
False. Desexing your pet does not make it fat or lazy. Only lack of exercise and too much food make pets overweight.
- Pets lose their personality after desexing.
False. Your pet will retain her or his personality after the operation. You might however, find that your pet calms down a little.
- Females should have one litter before being desexed.
False. There is no benefit in letting your pet have a litter before it is spayed (desexed). In fact, it is better for your pet not to have a litter or a period of being on heat before being spayed.
- A desexed pet will become overweight.
For more information, visit Agriculture Victoria's animal welfare.
The site has useful information about your rights and responsibilities as a pet owner. It covers your pet and your neighbourly responsibilities.