World Spay Day: Debunking myths about fixing pets


TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — Tuesday, February 23rd is World Spay Day and the Humane Society of Tampa Bay is hoping to raise awareness about spaying and neutering as a way to remedy future pet homelessness. With pet owners often weighing the pros and cons of fixing their pets, Humane Society veterinarian Dr. Karla Bard warns pet owners about myths often associated with the procedure and recovery.

“We have a lot of discount programs, free programs, to help you out,” says Dr. Bard about one of the reasons some may consider not going through with the procedure.

Another is what some perceive as painful or extremely invasive. She adds, “It’s amazing how quickly dogs and cats recover.”

Still pet owners often talk about weight gain, or behavioral changes as the main reason not to spay or neuter their cat or dog. Dr. Bard explains weight gain is dependent on the pet owner, not the procedure, recommending owners give their pets an appropriate diet and plenty of exercise. As for behavior, a fixed dog won’t necessarily make a poor protector for your home and family.

Dr. Bard explains, “They absolutely will. What you won’t see is a lot of dog fights with male dogs.” She adds this is also lead to less spraying or marking territory.

For female dogs, the vet explains spaying is a great way to prevent cancer. This is especially true in female cats. Contrary to rumors, Dr. Bard recommends spaying your female pet before she ever goes into heat. For male pets, the veterinarian explains there is no specific attachment to male reproductive organs debunking pet owners’ fears of emasculating their male pets.

The quick routine procedure results in an overnight recovery period for most pets. While some owners prefer to spay or neuter their pets before they’re 6-months old, Dr. Bard suggests your veterinarian recommend the appropriate time for the procedure based on an evaluation. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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